2001 Archive

CVF-NEWS is a free, electronic newsletter published by the California Voter Foundation. CVF-NEWS features news and updates about democracy and the Internet, emphasizing activities taking place in California. Please fill out our online form to receive your free subscription to CVF-NEWS!

Below is an archive of past CVF-NEWS updates. We will endeavor to archive new updates at this index page as quickly as possible. Remember: an email subscription to CVF-NEWS is the best way to ensure that you receive this newsletter on a timely basis.

December 14, 2001

RE: Please support the California Voter Foundation

With the 2002 election season rapidly approaching, we are writing to bring you up-to-date on the California Voter Foundation's election plans and to ask for your support. The end of the year is a strategic time for giving to non-profit groups and we hope you'll include CVF in your giving plans this year. (continued)

December 12, 2001

RE: SF election to be discussed Thursday on KQED-FM

For those interested in learning more about the election problems in San Francisco, you might want to tune in tomorrow to KQED-FM's Forum show. CVF president Kim Alexander will be a guest on the show, along with California Secretary of State Bill Jones and San Francisco elections director Tammy Haygood.

The program will air live Thursday from 9 - 10 a.m. PST on 88.5 FM. If you are not in the San Francisco area but would like to hear the show, a live feed will be available from KQED's web site at Hope you can tune in!

December 10, 2001

RE: San Francisco elections saga

The San Francisco Elections Department has been in the news in recent weeks due to a variety of bizarre occurrences and serious election irregularities discovered in the aftermath of the city's recent municipal election, held on November 6th. The story has unfolded day by day, and includes so many twists and turns it's starting to sound like a work of fiction, but it is unfortunately the reality of democracy in San Francisco.

It has been discouraging to hear San Francisco's and others' election problems described in news headlines as "glitches", "mishaps" and "snafus". Such characterizations trivialize the democratic process and are insulting to voters. To help sort out the confusion and encourage more careful scrutiny, we've put together a synopsis of what's been happening in San Francisco to date, which includes links to news stories and other information providing more details, along with a few of my personal observations. (continued)

November 12, 2001

RE: Voting technology news

Two important voting technology developments have been reported in the news recently. An article in Saturday's Los Angeles Times describes how a programming error in San Bernardino County's computer ballot-counting system may have resulted in an incorrect tabulation of votes in 33 contests in last Tuesday's election. (continued)

October 31, 2001

RE: Civic groups encourage patriotism at the ballot box

New York, NY and Davis, CA -- On Tuesday, November 6th, local elections will be held in hundreds of communities across the country. Will the surge in patriotism translate into a surge in voter turnout? If New York City's mayoral primary turnout is any indication, the answer is yes. (continued)

October 25, 2001

RE: 2002 Election update

The California Voter Foundation is tracking candidates and measures headed for the March and November 2002 ballots, and we want to remind you that a lot of great information is available in our 2002 Election Preview Guide at Already six measures have qualified for the March ballot. (continued)

October 16, 2001

RE: Voting equipment act passes with strong paper trail provisions

AB 56, the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002, has been signed by Governor Gray Davis and will be placed on the March 2002 ballot. If approved by California voters, this bond act will provide $200 million to California counties to upgrade their voting systems. (continued)

October 12, 2001

RE: California online disclosure update

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Improvements made at California's disclosure web site
* New campaign finance disclosure reports online; more to come
* Candidates for statewide office raise millions (continued)

October 2, 2001

RE: FEC voting systems standards; CVF Pres. in D.C.

Earlier this year, the Federal Election Commission released its draft Voluntary Standards for Computerized Voting Systems, and invited comment from the public.

The California Voter Foundation submitted its comments on the voting systems standards in September in the form of a letter to the FEC. Below is a short summary of CVF's recommendations. (continued)

September 23, 2001

RE: New York Election on Tuesday, Sept. 25

Below is an Election Alert to help New York voters prepare to participate in the New York primary, rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 25.

There are millions of people eligible to participate in Tuesday's mayoral election -- while some may have bigger concerns on their minds, others may want to make a special effort to exercise their right to vote at this time. Unfortunately, information about the rescheduled election is in short supply. So the California Voter Foundation put this Election Alert together and we are hoping our newsletter subscribers will pass it along to anyone you know who might find it useful. (continued)

September 23, 2001

RE: September 11 -- a view from abroad

For this edition of CVF-NEWS I am sharing with you an account of my experiences as an American abroad during the recent terrorist attacks against the U.S. As always, your thoughts are welcome and appreciated. -- Kim Alexander (continued)

September 19, 2001

RE: CA voting tech developments

There have been two important voting technology developments in California in recent days. On Friday the legislature passed AB 56, the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002, which would place a $200 million bond measure on the March 2002 ballot, and now awaits action by the governor.

In addition, Secretary of State Bill Jones issued a news release yesterday announcing his plans to de-certify both the Votomatic and Pollstar punch card voting systems by January of 2006. (continued)

September 5, 2001

RE: Calif. redistricting plans are online

The legislature is back in session and dealing with hundreds of bills and policy issues, including redistricting. Today the legislature wrapped up two days of redistricting hearings.

CVF wants to remind people that a lot of helpful redistricting information is available online. Maps of the current legislative and congressional districts, created in partnership with U.C. Berkeley's Statewide Database, are available on the CVF web site and have been very popular lately with visitors to The maps can be found at (continued)

August 24, 2001

RE: NY Times story on public records and privacy

Today's New York Times features a front page story by Amy Harmon regarding the growing tension between public records and privacy in the digital age. The article is titled, "As Public Records Go Online, Some Say They're Too Public" and is available online at

The story focuses on a new web site,, that went online last week. (continued)

August 20, 2001

RE: Update on AB 56/CA voting technology legislation

The California Legislature is back in session after its summer recess and will be taking up hundreds of bills over the next few weeks until they adjourn for the year on September 14.

Among the bills under consideration is Assembly Bill 56, which would provide $300 million for new election equipment if approved by California voters. This edition of CVF-NEWS provides an update and overview on AB 56. (continued)

August 17, 2001

RE: More improvements on Cal-Access

The export tool is back on Cal-Access, the Secretary of State's campaign finance web site! It is once again possible to download campaign contributions and expenditures in Excel format, allowing one to easily sort and analyze the data. From individual committee reports on the site, at, click on the "contributions received" or "expenditures made" links to access the export function.

We are continuing to work with the Secretary of State's office to help make the Cal-Access web site more user-friendly -- please contact us if you have any suggestions or need assistance navigating the site.

August 13, 2001

RE: SF Chronicle: "Secretary of state's tangled Web site"

Today's San Francisco Chronicle features a front page story about the problems people are experiencing with Cal-Access, the Secretary of State's campaign finance web site. It includes comments from prominent national disclosure experts, as well as some encouraging remarks from Secretary of State Bill Jones' spokesman, Alfie Charles, that indicate they are aware of the problems and are committed to improving the site. The article can be found on the SF Gate web site.

August 10, 2001

RE: CVF-NEWS Round-up: Net voting, campaign disclosure

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Improvements made at California's campaign disclosure web site
* Internet Voting Project Cost Pentagon $73,809 Per Vote
* Federal Election Commission seeks public input on voting equipment standards; proposes standards for Internet voting (continued)

August 1, 2001

RE: Follow the money -- CA Governor's Race

We have just posted lists of the Top 25 contributions to candidates for Governor on the CVF web site!

Visit and click on the "Top 25 Contributions" link to view the largest contributions to California Governor Gray Davis, and his prospective Republican opponents, Secretary of State Bill Jones and Bill Simon. The Top 25 lists reflect the largest donations received by these candidates during the first six months of 2001. (continued)

July 31, 2001

RE: Voting reform report; new CA campaign $ online

I have two news items to share with you in this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Carter-Ford Commission releases election reform report
* New Calif. campaign finance reports go online today (continued)

July 25, 2001

RE: CVF names Saskia Mills Exec. Director

I'm very pleased to be sending you the following announcement. We recently promoted Saskia Mills to the position of Executive Director! As many of you know, Saskia and I have worked together as a team for several years now, and the CVF board and I felt it was time to "upgrade" Saskia's title to better reflect the importance of her role with CVF. Please join me in congratulating Saskia on her promotion! -- Kim Alexander, President (continued)

July 17, 2001

RE: Caltech/MIT voting technology report

The California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though their joint Voting Technology Project, released a report yesterday called "Voting: What is and What Could Be", which is available on the project's web site at

The 95-page report details voting problems encountered throughout the United States during the 2000 presidential election and recommends specific reforms designed to improve voting technology and the election process in the U.S. (continued)

June 28, 2001

RE: New contact info for the California Voter Foundation

The California Voter Foundation is moving into a new office! Starting Monday, July 2, CVF's new home will be:

222 D Street, Suite 6B
Davis, California 95616

phone: (530) 750-7650
fax: (530) 750-7653

We are very excited to be moving to the Davis community, home to UC Davis and a short drive west from Sacramento. We've decided to relocate to Davis from Sacramento so we can be closer to the campus and to the students who intern for us and provide essential support for CVF's projects and web site. Please update your records and if you are in the Davis area stop by and visit!

June 25, 2001

RE: New! CVF Archive of Campaign Promises

We are very pleased to announce the debut of our new Archive of Campaign Promises, the latest digital democracy innovation from the California Voter Foundation! Click here for the news release we issued today announcing this project. As always, your comments and feedback on our work are welcome and appreciated.

June 22, 2001

RE: CVF-NEWS Round-up

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Voting system certification details available on Secretary of State's web site
* features 2002 election preview
* CVF president addresses Rhetoric & Democracy conference
* Webby Awards voting continues through July 4th (continued)

June 20, 2001

RE: Update on Digital Sunlight in California

This issue of CVF-NEWS provides updates on a few issues relating to CVF's work with online disclosure of money in politics

* Secretary of State submits status report on California Online Disclosure Act
* California Voter Foundation publishes recommendations for improving online disclosure in California
* CVF reports final numbers for November 2000 proposition campaign funding (continued)

June 7, 2001

RE: Voting tech bill passes CA Assembly

The California state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 56 yesterday, which if passed by the Senate and signed into law would place a $300 million bond issue on California's March 2002 ballot. The money would be made available to counties for assistance with the purchase of updated voting systems. (continued)

June 5, 2001

RE: CVF-NEWS Round-up

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* CVF President addresses Florida election officials
* Initiative Watch update: California 2002 ballot measures taking shape
* San Francisco Chronicle story on disclosure and privacy (continued)

May 25, 2001

RE: More on Griset, plus a few clarifications

There is a story about the Griset case in today's San Francisco Chronicle that provides further details on yesterday's decision.

I'd like to clarify that the California Supreme Court did not rule anew on the constitutionality of California's mass mailing disclosure law. While the ruling was a victory for voters in our view, it was based on a technicality and not on the larger question of whether the California political disclosure law is still constitutional in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the 1995 McIntyre case, when an Ohio law that requires anyone distributing campaign material to identify themselves was found to be unconstitutional. (continued)

May 24, 2001

RE: Voters' right to know protected by CA Supreme Court

Great news! The long-awaited decision in the Griset vs. FPPC case was handed down today by the California Supreme Court, whose nine members unanimously upheld the constitutionality of California's "sender identification" law for political mailers.

The state supreme court overturned an earlier decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana that struck down the mass mailing disclosure provision of California's Political Reform Act. That lower court decision eliminated the requirement that political campaigns identify themselves by name and committee ID number on all mass mailings of 200 or more pieces. (continued)

May 16, 2001

RE: Update on voting technology legislation

There have been many voting technology developments in the past week. In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Governor Gray Davis' revised budget no longer includes funding for voting equipment
* Renewed bi-partisan effort in the U.S. Senate to address electoral reform
* U.S. House of Reps Committee on Science to hold hearing on voting technology
* Florida enacts sweeping electoral reform legislation (continued)

May 2, 2001

RE: CVF-NEWS round-up

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* California web sites hacked
* California 2002 statewide races taking shape
* Florida Legislature nears completion of election reform package
* Government secrecy about California's energy crisis (continued)

April 24, 2001

RE: Assembly committee passes voting tech bills

This afternoon (Monday, April 23) the Assembly Elections Committee took up two voting technology bills: AB 55, by Kevin Shelley, and AB 56, by Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg. (continued)

April 18, 2001

RE: ACLU lawsuit & voting technology performance

This week the American Civil Liberties Union, along with several other organizations, filed a federal lawsuit demanding that the nine California counties currently using the Votomatic and Pollstar voting machines replace those machines before the next statewide election scheduled for March 2002.

The suit makes two claims... (continued)

April 16, 2001

RE: Upcoming CA redistricting & voting tech hearings

The California Assembly Elections Committee has two important hearings coming up dealing with redistricting and voting technology legislation...(continued)

April 13, 2001

RE: Kim Alexander's Testimony before the National Commission on Election Reform

Yesterday I attended and testified at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley,where the National Commission on Federal Election Reform held its second public hearing. Here are my remarks from yesterday, on how the Internet can be used to improve voter access to reliable election information. These remarks are also posted on our web site, at:

If you didn't get a chance to watch the live webcast, there will be an archive available on the commission's web site sometime soon. (The archive of the first hearing, held in Atlanta in March, is available now available, FYI). The commission's web site is

April 11, 2001

RE: Reminder: Election reform hearing webcast 4/12

Tomorrow, April 12, I'll be testifying before the National Commission on Federal Election Reform at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

The Commission's hearing is from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. PST and will be webcast live on, so remember to tune in tomorrow if you want to watch the testimony. My panel begins at 1:30 p.m.; CVF board member David Jefferson is also testifying on Internet voting, and his panel begins at 2:30 p.m. (continued)

  Find out how to join CVF and support our projects with your tax-deductible donation.

April 6, 2001

RE: National Commission on Federal Election Reform, Public Hearing #2

The National Commission on Federal Election Reform will hold its second public hearing, this one to focus on election administration, on Thursday, April 12th at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. (continued)

April 4, 2001

RE: 25 People Changing the World of Politics & the Net

I'm writing to share some accolades with you. This week my work with the California Voter Foundation was recognized by Harvard University, the American Association of Political Consultants and Politics Online, who released a list on Monday of "25 Who Are Changing the World" of Internet and Politics. (continued)

March 29, 2001

RE: Voting technology article and events

An interesting article was published recently by the BBC News Online about two voting technology studies that have been discussed previously in CVF-NEWS, namely the preliminary report of Caltech/MIT's Voting Technology Project, and the National Science Foundation's Internet voting report. (continued)

March 23, 2001

RE: National Commission on Federal Election Reform hearing

The National Commission on Federal Election Reform, organized earlier this year by the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and The Century Foundation, will hold the first of four public hearings on election reform this coming Monday, March 26th at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. (continued)

March 21, 2001

RE: "tracktivism", dot orgs and more

In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Political dot coms sink, but "tracktivism" still alive and well
* WSJ reports on the "revenge of the dot orgs"
* Pew survey finds people are engaged but time is a barrier
* Coverage of CA Supreme Court hearing on Griset case
* City of Los Angeles mandates electronic filing of campaign finance reports (continued)

March 13, 2001

RE: NSF report, summary, and Aschroft's remarks

Thanks to all of you who sent me the url for the National Science Foundation's Internet voting report -- much appreciated!

Those who are interested in reading the NSF report can find a PDF version online at Additional info about this report is available at, where an html version is going to be published soon as well. (continued)

March 6, 2001

RE: Nat'l Science Foundation nixes remote Internet voting

With a news release headline proclaiming that "Internet Voting is no magic ballot", the National Science Foundation today released its Internet voting study, concluding that remote Internet voting -- i.e. voting from home or work -- should not be allowed anytime in the near future. The NSF is instead encouraging poll-site Internet voting as an approach to be explored. (continued)

March 5, 2001

RE: Landmark disclosure case goes before CA Supreme Court

This Wednesday, March 7 at 9 a.m. in San Francisco the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a landmark political disclosure case, the outcome of which may profoundly impact the ability of California voters to know who the true messengers are of political campaign mailers. (continued)

February 21, 2001

RE: Calif. voting systems info online

CVF added two new pages to our web site at today, both featuring information about voting systems and voting technology in California. The web pages are adaptations of charts provided by the Assembly Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee, which included the data in packets distributed at its January 2001 hearings on voting technology. (continued)

February 12, 2001

RE: CVF-NEWS Round-up

Last week was a very busy week in the world of politics and technology. In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* Florida voting commission recommends optical scan systems for 2002
* National Association of Secretaries of State make recommendations
* Florida's President of election supervisors shares remarks online
* Caltech/MIT Voting Project issues preliminary assessment of voting equipment
* NY Times, San Diego Union Tribune report on Riverside County's touch screen voting system
* closes shop
* Campaigns and Elections magazine names best state web site of 2000 (continued)

February 1, 2001

RE: CA energy crisis; get informed, follow the money

As the energy crisis drags on, people are looking for information and answers. A good place to start looking is on the Internet; many government agencies involved with the crisis, as well as consumer watchdog groups and news organizations, have timely information available on their web sites. Below are some recommended links to help concerned citizens learn more about the crisis and share their views with lawmakers. Below you will also find links to the latest campaign finance disclosure reports filed Wednesday by the major utility companies and available online now. (continued)

January 30, 2001

RE: Ten Things to Know About Voting Technology

After studying voting technology issues for over two years now, I have finally compiled a list of "Ten Things I Want People To Know About Voting Technology". These are the remarks I've been giving lately at various hearings and debates on voting technology, and they are also available on our web site at

It's a rather long piece but it does provide a good overview of what I've learned so far and is formatted for "easy skimming" :). As always, I welcome and appreciate your feedback.

January 17, 2001

RE: Today's Voting Technology Hearing

Due to the truck accident and fire at the State Capitol building last night and the resulting confusion, this morning's Assembly Elections Committee hearing on voting technology was not broadcast live on the California Channel as we told you yesterday it would be.

In spite of the ongoing cleanup and investigation at the Capitol, the hearing did proceed as scheduled. The California Channel may broadcast a tape of the hearing at some point in the future, and if that happens we'll be sure to let you know when to tune in.

January 16, 2001

RE: Voting Technology events

This is a reminder email to you about this week's voting technology events as well as an upcoming hearing regarding the California initiative process.

The first annual Voting Technology Expo hosted by California Secretary of State Bill Jones was held today in Sacramento, along with the first day of a two-day hearing sponsored by the Assembly Elections Committee on voting issues and voting technology. (continued)

January 8, 2001

RE: Upcoming Voting Technology Events

Happy new year! I hope everyone's new year and new millennium is off to a good start.

The vote counting problems in Florida have given rise to new efforts to improve voting technology in California and nationwide. There are several important public hearings and events coming up that I'll be participating in and want to let CVF-NEWS subscribers know about in advance in case you are interested in attending.

In addition, this evening California Governor Gray Davis will deliver his annual State of the State, and some details about how to tune in are also featured below, as well as some other upcoming Cal Channel programming relating to California's energy crisis. (continued)

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