(Articles appearing February, 1996 to December, 2002)

November 20, 2002 -- County to enter electronic-voting era
By Luis Monteagudo Jr., San Diego Union Tribune

In years past, San Diego County voters have used No. 2 pencils, rubber stamps and hole-punching devices to mark their election ballots.

Now, the county is about to move voters into the electronic age.

Election officials could announce as early as today their choice for an electronic voting system that should be more accurate and provide faster results. (continued)

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November 4, 2002 -- California Capitol Report - Candidates begin last push before election day
With Host Mike Montgomery

CVF president Kim Alexander comments on political telephone messages. Click here to listen to the show

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October 28, 2002 -- Elections Officials Braced for Problems at Polls
By Katharine Q. Seelye and David E. Rosenbaum, New York Times

Two years after the election fiasco in Florida, when hanging chads in the deadlocked presidential contest alerted the world to major flaws in how Americans vote, the states have made little progress in overhauling their election systems.

Beyond the machines themselves, election officials around the country say they are most worried about a recurring problem that became more evident after Florida's primary last month: finding competent, reliable poll workers who will commit to a 16-hour day to guide increasingly wary voters through increasingly complex ballots. Interviews with dozens of election officials found a widespread sense of vulnerability as Americans prepare to go back to the polls a week from tomorrow in the first national election since Florida 2000. (continued)

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October 23, 2002 -- County Offers Chad-Free Voting
By Kristina Sauerwein, Los Angeles Times

Got chad phobia? Los Angeles County election officials Tuesday offered an alternative to the type of punch-card machine that threw the 2000 presidential election into chaos: touch-screen voting machines.

Registered voters began using the machines at midday Tuesday to cast ballots for the Nov. 5 election. The county has installed 21 of the electronic booths at malls, libraries, city halls and community centers throughout the area. Voters can use any of the locations, seven days a week, until Nov. 1. (continued)

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October 23, 2002 -- KQED-FM Radio's Forum show
With Host Michael Krasny

CVF president Kim Alexander, Bob Stern, Jim Sutton, and Lance Williams discuss money in politics and examine the impact of recent campaign finance reforms. (To listen to the show, scroll down to the October 23rd listing)

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October 20, 2002 -- Paper or Plastic?
Op-Ed piece on voting technology by Kim Alexander, in the San Diego Union Tribune

As the next election approaches, many California voters may be wondering if the equipment they'll be using on Nov. 5 is reliable. Voters who cast ballots on old-fashioned, Votomatic-style punch cards will be checking for chad, while those who vote on new, "modern" touchscreen voting systems may well be checking for a paper trail. There won't be one.

That's because touchscreen voting, as is currently certified in California, does not require there to be a paper trail. "Modern" means paperless -- no more ballots inserted into a locked box, just data stored on a machine. (continued)

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October 17, 2002 -- Monday deadline to register to vote
By Sara Dunn, The Argus, Fremont

Residents wishing to have their voices heard in the upcoming local and state elections have until Monday to register to vote.

Voter registration is down in Alameda County, according to the county registrar's office, and the Nov. 5 election is only weeks away. Forms can be found at post offices, libraries, fire departments and county offices. (continued)

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October 16, 2002 -- Sacramento County Tests Voting Machines
KCRA Channel 3 News, Sacramento

Sacramento County is conducting an experiment with touch-screen voting machines. Under a court ruling, Sacramento and eight other California counties will be required to replace punch-card ballots by March 2004.

Over the next 10 days, computerized machines will be set up at several area shopping malls, giving voters a chance to get an early jump on election day. (continued)

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October 15, 2002 -- Touch-screen voting foe presses for a paper trail
By Michael Gardner, The San Diego Union-Tribune

For many Californians, the only connection to the state controller is a tax refund check.

But the controller is more than a bill-paying machine for the treasury. The state's chief financial officer polices spending, weighs corporate tax breaks, invests pension dollars and can greatly influence environmental initiatives. (continued)

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September 30, 2002 -- Political Donors Shielded by Loophole
By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times

The name of the mysterious Philadelphia corporation alone makes campaign finance watchdogs suspicious.

"They call themselves Free Buffet?" asked Kim Alexander, president of the nonprofit California Voter Foundation, pondering whether that is a reference to a free buffet of perks and influence at the statehouse. (continued)

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September 14, 2002 -- Touch-screen voting foe presses for a paper trail
By Christine Mahr, The Desert Sun

A Palm Desert resident whose lawsuit challenging the county's touch-screen voting system was dismissed plans to appeal the federal judge's ruling. Susan Marie Weber represented herself in her lawsuit filed earlier this year but said now she is looking for an attorney to advise her on an appeal.

"This isn't going to go away," she said this week. Weber's lawsuit targeted issues other groups and individuals have raised as more and more states turn to new electronic voting systems to replace outdated equipment. (continued)

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August 29, 2002 -- Public housing vote drive criticized $50,000 contract given to group linked with Willie Brown
By Ilene Lelchuk, San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Housing Authority, which is reeling from federal budget cuts, is paying $50,000 for a get-out-the-vote drive in public housing that is raising questions among city and state officials. The Housing Authority awarded a contract to the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a labor-backed civil rights and voter education group, to register public housing and other low-income residents to vote in the most politically apathetic and predominantly minority neighborhoods in southeast San Francisco.

The contract is drawing criticism partly because of the A. Philip Randolph Institute's allegedly close ties with Mayor Willie Brown and its controversial past practices that include dangling presents and parties to people who went to the polls. (continued).

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August 29, 2002 -- In Maryland, a New Way to Vote
By Pam Fessler, National Public Radio

The confusion that followed the 2000 presidential election led to a nationwide call for more accurate and reliable ways to vote. But Congress has yet to pass an election reform bill, and many states are waiting for federal funds to upgrade their voting procedures. With the 2002 elections only weeks away, some experts say there are still gaping holes in the system.

Maryland isn't waiting for the federal government to take the lead. NPR's Pam Fessler reports that state voting officials are taking steps they hope will avoid the problems encountered in 2000. (continued).

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August 9, 2002 -- E-voting companies vie for county contract
By Steve Tanner, Silicon Valley Business Ink

After the confusion in Florida caused by "hanging chads," "pregnant chads" and other questionable punchcard votes in the tight 2000 presidential election, Santa Clara County is joining other California counties to update its voting technology before a state-mandated deadline.

A court order to get rid of the infamous Votamatic punchcard systems in California by 2004 has several vendors working overtime to convince county registrars that theirs is the best.

But not everyone is convinced that electronic voting systems -- primarily touchscreen machines -- are the answer. Kim Alexander, founder and president of the Davis-based nonprofit California Voter Foundation, believes such systems would invite new ways to rig elections. (continued).

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June 22, 2002 --
Data privacy legislation sputters
By Ann E. Marimow, San Jose Mercury News

Efforts to pass a law to give consumers more control over whether banks and other companies can sell personal data -- including the size of bank accounts -- have sputtered, and consumer advocates are now looking at putting the issue before voters.

"California residents support a privacy law that makes them the owner of -- and in control of -- their financial information," said state Sen. Jackie Speier, the author of a financial privacy bill that has stalled for a second time in the state Legislature. "We don't support the concept of having our phone number shared with everyone." (continued).

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May 16, 2002 --
Election day registration heads toward November ballot in California
By Aron Goetzl,

For the second time this year, Californians will likely have the opportunity to vote on a significant election reform measure, after the state's Election Day Registration (EDR) initiative took another key step last week toward landing on the November general ballot.

The initiative, which would enable people to register to vote at the polls on Election Day, qualified last Friday for verification procedures after proponents turned in approximately 750,000 signatures - far exceeding the minimum requirement of 419,260. Those names will be sampled and tested for validity next month in time for a June 27 deadline to put initiatives on the ballot, said Beth Miller, a spokesperson for the California Secretary of State's office. (continued).

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May 8, 2002 --
Park bond campaign will not ID big donor
By Paul Rogers and Dion Nissenbaum, San Jose Mercury News

A secret $1 million gift. Shell corporations with post office box addresses. A wealthy benefactor who goes only by the name "Rosebud.''

The plot from a 1940s Orson Welles movie? No, it's California's latest election.

In a mystery that is raising questions about whether campaign finance laws have been broken, the Nature Conservancy of California -- an environmental group that organized the campaign for Proposition 40, a $2.6 billion state parks bond measure approved by voters in March -- is refusing to make public the identity of someone who gave $1 million in campaign donations. (continued).

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May 2, 2002 --
E-Mail Vote Report
By Rebecca Roberts, BBC World News

In last year's general elections in Britain, the voter turnout slumped to 59 percent. That's getting down there in the American range, and the British government was alarmed. So it set aside six million dollars to develop electronic voting. "E-voting" is getting its first test in local elections today. Pilot programs in several British towns and cities are allowing voters to make their choices by clicking a mouse, tapping a computer screen, or pressing a number on a mobile phone. The World's technology correspondent Rebecca Roberts reports. (listen using RealAudio player).

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April 9, 2002 --
'Snake-oil salesmen': Debate on campaign e-mail pits political speech vs. spam
By Dugie Standeford, Warren's Washington Internet Daily

The approach of the Nov. elections is sparking controversy over the use of unsolicited campaign e-mail, observers say. Over the last 6 weeks, the question of how to distinguish political speech from spam "has just blossomed," said Michael Cornfield, an assoc. prof at George Washington U. (GW) and research dir. of the Democracy Online Project. There are "all sorts of nuances" to campaign e-mail that need to be clarified, he said. The issue has become so hot, he said, that it's likely to be a focus of GW's "Politics Online" conference in May.

There's a "temptation" for campaigns to equate the Internet with direct mail, said Jonah Seiger, cofounder and chief strategist with Mindshare Internet Campaigns LLC. But the analogy falls apart, he said, because the distinction between opt-in spam lists and lists that are bought for marketing purposes is murky. Campaigns don't appear to understand that spam is the method of "snake-oil salesmen," Seiger said. "Your currency is your goodwill," he said, and spam has a way of backfiring." (continued).

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April 2002 --
UCSB alum builds clearinghouse for democracy: California Voter Foundation is a one-stop shop for political information
Tri-County Business and Technology Review

For years now in California, print coverage of state politics has been lacking.

The major dailies post few reporters to the Sacramento beat; coverage picks up slightly in election years such as this one, but most newspaper stories focus on the "horse race" aspects of the campaigns rather than on policy or legislative news. Local television news has too many apartment fires and car chases to cover to pick up much of the slack. That leaves paid commercials, at best a dubious source of information for Californians weighing how to vote come November.

Enter Kim Alexander, a UCSB alum and the founder and president of the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses the Internet to educate voters.
(continued in HTML). (continued in PDF).

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March 17, 2002 -- Low primary turnout a sign of the times, say voting experts
By Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle

There's a flag on nearly every other house in Concord's Walnut Country neighborhood. Many neighbors double up, flying the colors on the SUVs and minivans parked in the driveways of their $430,000 homes.

But flag-flying patriotism didn't translate to civic duty in California's recent primary election. Voter turnout in the four precincts that fed into the local polling station: an average of 28 percent. That's 5 percent lower than the estimated statewide average, which was the lowest ever for a primary election.

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March 14, 2002 -- Fear and loathing at the ballot box
By Steven Jones, Sacramento News & Review

Like most California voters, I wasn't terribly excited about last week's election. If I received a sample ballot, I didn't see it. And with my penchant for changing political parties in disgust, I wasn't entirely sure what kind of ballot I'd even receive when I reported to the polls. (continued).

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March 2002 -- Public turns thumbs down on voting by the Internet
The Political Standard

Voting by the Internet, touted by some as a promising technological fix to the problem of low voter turnout, is opposed by the public by a two-to-one margin, according to a new nationwide survey released by the Council for Excellence in Government.

The survey of public attitudes toward "e-government" found that Americans have a generally positive view of the governmentís use of the Internet in areas ranging from law enforcement to domestic preparedness to information services. But it found that 63 percent rejected proposals to allow people to vote online.

The finding came as no surprise to Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. Once an enthusiastic supporter of online voting, she said her own views have shifted in recent years, as have those of the general public.

Alexander cited several reasons: more awareness of viruses and hacking risks; more concern about identity theft through the Internet; and more awareness about the complexity and fragility of the voting process in the wake of the vote count controversy in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.

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March 11, 2002 -- Embrace patriotism by voting
By Anita Creamer, Sacramento Bee

We said things had changed. Over and over, a shocked nation looked around in the days after Sept. 11 and said nothing would ever be the same.

So here we are, six months later. Monica Lewinsky has her own HBO special. Paula Jones and Tonya Harding are participating in something called "Celebrity Boxing" on Fox. People magazine has resumed running cover stories on Julia Roberts and her love life.

And on primary day last week, only 31 percent of California's voters bothered showing up at the polls to exercise their civic duty as the custodians of democracy. The new normal, in short, looks a whole lot like the old normal did, only with a lot more flag decals on car windows.

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March 8, 2002 -- California voter turnout may be lowest in state history
Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle

California's primary election may have attracted the lowest voter turnout in state history, officials said Friday.

Incomplete figures show that only one in three registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday. The figure of 33 percent could climb a point or two as counties finish tallying absentee and provisional ballots next week but "it is shaping up to be a historic low," said Shad Balch, spokesman for Secretary of State Bill Jones.

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March 8, 2002 -- Election turnout hit a new low
By Jenifer Warren, Los Angeles Times

After the terrorists struck and the buildings fell, Americans united in a surge of patriotism not seen in a generation. On Tuesday in California, citizens were asked to join in what may be the most patriotic ritual of all, the celebration of democracy known as voting.

Two out of three registered voters were no-shows. Turnout has been falling for more than 30 years, but this primary election appears destined to make history: Never before has such a small fraction of the California populace cast ballots. People had plenty of reasonable excuses: I was too busy. The ballot measures were confusing. The negative ads were a turn-off.

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March 8, 2002 -- Female vote often puts women in office -- unless 2 are in race
By Robert Salladay, San Francisco Chronicle

Sacramento -- One of only two female Democrats running for statewide office, Michela Alioto was assured she had a good chance of being nominated for secretary of state even though she faced the venerable March Fong Eu, the only other woman.

But it came with a warning from her pollster: If a man entered the race, she would lose. "We would split the women's vote," said Alioto, noting dryly that her pollster ended up working for her male opponent once he entered the race.

As the results from Tuesday's election show, gender continues to play a critical role in California politics. Where Alioto and Eu split the vote and lost to San Francisco Assemblyman Kevin Shelley, many women nevertheless did well when campaigning on their own this year. (continued).

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March 7, 2002 -- Murphy's Law defeats voters
By Troy Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles County supervisors on Wednesday demanded explanations for all the snafus that marred Tuesday's primary, calling the election an embarrassment. Angry voters called the unprecedented breakdown in the county's election process a nightmare.

And county Registrar-Recorder Conny McCormack, weary from three days of grappling with a long list of unexpected problems on just a few hours' sleep, offered her own description. "It was the perfect storm," she said. "It was a confluence of all these problems mushrooming into this crisis of poll workers quitting and not showing up. It just hasn't happened before at this level." (continued).

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March 7, 2002 -- State's turnout marks a new low
By Dorothy Korber, Sacramento Bee

Blame the Olympics, or the calendar, or the lack of hot Democratic races at the top of the ticket, but Tuesday's primary election produced the lowest statewide voter turnout in California history.

The turnout was 31.1 percent of registered voters. While the total may edge up a point or two when all absentee ballots are tallied, it will still fall below the previous low of 35 percent set in the 1994 primary, according to the California Secretary of State's Office. (continued).

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March 5, 2002 -- Local voters face choices, charges in primary
By Kimberly Trone, The Desert Sun

Between 5 and 6 million Californians -- or 36 percent of the state's registered voters-- are expected to head to the polls today to cast their votes in the primary election. (continued).

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March 4, 2002 -- S.F. voter concerns surface
By John Glionna, Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO -- They have become perverse collector's items, evidence of what many say are serious problems at City Hall: a dozen ballot box lids found floating in San Francisco Bay and as far north as Point Reyes 30 miles away. (continued)

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March 4, 2002 -- In the spirit of all that campaign word-twisting...
By Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times

Too late for the Grammy awards but just in time for Tuesday's primary comes the new, remixed, remastered, re-lyricized "Election Song" from the world's only folk-bluegrass voter organization, the California Voter Foundation.

The cut is only 86 seconds long and not remotely a dance tune, unless you count clog dancing, but it packs in a lot about yet more new twists in the ballot. (continued)

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March 3, 2002 -- Political borders Etch-a-Sketch their way across communities
By Jim Miller, Modesto Bee

Say you're heading east on Standiford Avenue in Modesto, OK? Make a right on McHenry, hang a left on Rumble, another left on Delta, right on Coffee Villa, a left on Triplett, cut across the first alley.

Complicated directions to a friend's house? Try the city's new congressional district lines, which make their polling place debut Tuesday. (continued)

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March 2, 2002 -- GOP hopeful Jones blasted for 'spam'
By Dion Nissenbaum and Laura Kurtzman, Mercury News

Republican Bill Jones' foundering campaign for governor suffered another blow Friday when his Web site was yanked offline after he sent thousands of "spam" e-mail messages to people as far away as Canada.

Jones, who has been widely praised for his use of the Internet as secretary of state, turned to the unpopular tactic to reach a million voters. And it backfired. (continued).

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March 2, 2002 -- The home stretch
Editorial, Sacramento Bee

If you are like a lot of Californians, you may only now be noticing that there's an election next Tuesday. And it's an important one to boot.

Voters in the Republican gubernatorial primary will determine the success of incumbent Democratic Gov. Gray Davis' unprecedented $8 million effort to pick the opponent he prefers (Bill Simon) over the one he doesn't want to face (Richard Riordan). (continued)

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March 1, 2002 -- California Insider: Is Riordan in free fall?
Dan Weintraub, Sacramento Bee

PROMISES, PROMISES Kim Alexander and her hardy band of political watchdogs at the California Voter Foundation have come up with a good idea-keeping an archive of campaign promises from past elections. The foundation asked statewide candidates to list their top three priorities in 1998 and pulled promises off legislative candidates' campaign Web sites in 2000. All are now available at, along with some obviously self-serving "progress reports" from several of the statewide candidates who are running again, including Gov. Gray Davis. (continued).

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February 27, 2002 -- A bid to move primary closer to general election
By Lynda Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle

Sacramento -- California officials are looking once again to change the date for the state's primary election, hoping a later contest will attract more voter interest.

So far, interest in next week's primary appears to be low, and some suggest the early primary has voters unprepared to cast a ballot. (continued).

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February 19, 2002 -- S.F. voting systems in shambles, mistrusted
By Erin McCormack and Rachel Gordon

Years of constant management turnover, political meddling and institutional neglect have left San Francisco's Elections Department so debilitated that it jeopardizes the credibility of the city's entire voting system, a Chronicle study found.

A steady drumbeat of problems -- including a state investigation that called into question the November 2000 vote count -- has so eroded public confidence that nearly a third of San Franciscans questioned in a recent poll did not believe the Elections Department could be trusted to accurately count votes. (continued).

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February 2, 2002 -- Are you familiar with the issues in the March primaries?
By Ross Blackstone, KOVR 13

Chances are, you've seen ads for the gubernatorial candidates but what else do you know about the election this March? Ross Blackstone looks at what has received less publicity for the primary. (continued)

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January 8, 2002 -- Artists see message in lost ballot box lid
By Tia O'Brien, San Jose Mercury News

Artist Judith Selby lives in rural West Marin, a world away from San Francisco and the city's ongoing saga of alleged election irregularities. But a poster created by the environmental artist is breathing new life into the controversy swirling around November's San Francisco election, where a proposition to create a public power authority lost by just 515 votes. (continued)

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January 7, 2002 -- Scavenged ballot box lids haunt S.F. elections
By Erin McCormick, San Francisco Chronicle

Beachcombers find them on sand dunes west of Point Reyes. Rowers come upon them bobbing in the bay. The bright red box tops that keep washing up around the Bay Area are floating reminders of a problem in San Francisco, the remnants of ballot boxes that somehow got beyond the control of the city's embattled Department of Elections. (continued)

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December 13, 2001 -- KQED-FM Radio's Forum
With Host Spencer Michaels

CVF president Kim Alexander, John Mott-Smith, Tammy Haygood, and Chris Bowman discuss San Francisco's Department of Elections and ways to make the city's election process more effective. (to listen to the show, scroll down to the December 13th listing)

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December 8, 2001 -- Birth-data debate echoes national issue
By Dion Nissenbaum, San Jose Mercury News

In California, a family history buff uses Internet birth records to track down long-lost relatives. In New York, celebrity-hunters employ a voter information Web site to figure out where Jerry Seinfeld and Uma Thurman live. In New Hampshire, a deadly stalker pays an online detective to track down the Social Security number and work address of his victim. (continued)

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December 1, 2001 -- Determining who's running some campaign finance groups can be difficult
By Steve Lawrence, Associated Press

Check state tax board member Dean Andal's campaign finance reports and you'll find a $50,000 contribution from the Taxpayers Political Action Committee. What you won't find is the fact that TAXPAC, as the committee is called, gets its money from a rather limited group of taxpayers: some of the biggest corporations in the state. (continued)

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November 6, 2001 -- Bay Area candidates fear light voter turnout today
By Ilene Lelchuck, San Francisco Chronicle

They are waving flags, slapping Old Glory bumper stickers on cars and wearing red, white and blue. But Bay Area residents' patriotism after terrorist attacks probably won't translate into a high turnout at the polls today, candidates and campaign managers fear.

It's an off-year election with city council races, school bonds and measures to reorganize government -- the meat and potatoes of local politics. (continued)

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November 5, 2001 -- California Capitol Report -- Tuesday is Election Day
By Vince Hancock, Capitol Public Radio

A variety of city and county elections take place in California Tuesday. (continued)

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November 4, 2001 -- Taco Bell heir giving $1 million to last-minute-voter drive
By Robert Salladay, San Francisco Chronicle

A San Francisco philanthropist whose father brought Taco Bell to the world is financing an initiative to allow last-minute voter registration in California -- the same system that helped put former wrestler Jesse Ventura in the Minnesota statehouse. High-tech investor Rob McKay, 37, said he plans to spend at least $1 million of his own money to get the initiative on the November 2002 ballot. (continued)

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November 3, 2001 -- Will spirit of America carry over to polls?
By Nora Wallace, Santa Barbara News-Press

A new wave of patriotism is sweeping through the United States. American flags are everywhere -- on cars, freeway overpasses, lapels and T-shirts.

But will this renewed American pride, fueled by terror, spill over into one of the most American of endeavors -- voting? (continued)

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October 15, 2001 -- Early voting opens amid hopes of big turnout
By Natalie Singer, Desert Sun

Early voting for local elections begins today in Palm Desert and election officials hope a renewed sense of patriotism will help lure voters to the polls.

"Not all of us can be on the front lines defending our country, but we can defend it through the exercise of this vote," said Riverside County Registrar of Voters Mischelle Townsend. (continued)

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October 7, 2001 -- As Davis decides on bills, law sheds light on donors
By Emily Bazar, Sacramento Bee

Less than 72 hours after the Legislature wrapped up its annual session and fled Sacramento, entrusting the fate of more than 900 bills to Gov. Gray Davis, two checks arrived at the governor's campaign headquarters. One was from Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser, for $15,000. The other, from the California Business Properties Association political action committee, came in at $37,000. (continued)

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October 3, 2001 -- California mulls a punch-card free future
By Dan Seligson,

The Golden State will become the fourth in the country to outlaw punch cards, following the lead of Maryland, Florida and Georgia. It could also face the most complicated and costly upgrade as it looks to move its punch card machines from polling places to dumpsters by 2006. (continued)

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October 1, 2001 -- September 11 -- A View from Abroad
By Kim Alexander, for Capitol Public Radio

Host Intro: Many Americans were abroad on September 11th. Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, was in Valencia, Spain where she was due to give a speech on "Cyberdemocracy." Then the news broke... (listen to Kim's commentary)

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September 24, 2001 -- Candidates get ready for campaign season
By Alexa Haussler, Associated Press

With the state's political lines drawn, the weather cooling and the Legislature nearly done with its work, California's campaign season is beginning. But it's starting without the usual fervor, as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and near Washington, D.C., have politicians and their operatives trying to determine the right time and tone for politics. Still, the clock is running for the March 2002 primaries.

"Six months is not a lot of time when you look at how many choices voters will be asked to make in March," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. (continued)

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September 22, 2001 -- Governor race gets new light
Associated Press

The California governor's race should be in full swing by now, but last week's terrorist attacks have overshadowed the quest for the largest political prize in next year's state elections.

As the candidates begin to resume their campaigns, they must decide whether to adopt new approaches for an electorate whose priorities have shifted as the nation prepares for an extended campaign against terrorists. (continued)

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September 11, 2001 -- Legislature weighs plans to modernize ballot box
By Noam Levy, San Jose Mercury News

Nearly a year after the presidential election was paralyzed by a dispute over Florida's ballots, California is poised to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid becoming the next place where antiquated voting machines wreak havoc with an election. The huge expenditure would deliver the most comprehensive voting modernization in the state's history and would push California elections into the high-tech era. (continued)

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August 30, 2001 -- The Internet might catch big parties napping
By Dan Weintraub, Sacramento Bee

When the nation's largest teachers union gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center July 3 to consider a proposal to make schools safer for gay and lesbian students, hundreds of protesters rallied outside to denounce the resolution.

The picketers' presence seemed to influence the National Education Association delegates, who set aside the controversial resolution and voted instead to establish a task force to study the issue. But the protest was important for another reason: It was the final link in a long chain that demonstrates the Internet's potential as a tool to generate political activism. (continued)

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August 29, 2001 -- S.F. supervisor trying to outlaw lies in campaigns
By Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle

The campaign tactic of spreading damning lies about your opponent may soon be outlawed in San Francisco.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick this week proposed the Truth in Political Campaigning and Advertising Ordinance, which would ban campaigns -- either knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth -- from printing false statements about candidates or ballot measures within 90 days of an election. (continued)

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August 24, 2001 -- As Public Records Go Online, Some Say They're Too Public
By Amy Harmon, New York Times

A new Web site that makes New York City voter registration records ó including home addresses ó freely available on the Internet has become the latest example of a growing tension between the individual's right to privacy and the public's right to public records in an electronic age. (continued)

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August 13, 2001 -- Secretary of State's tangled Web site
By Robert Salladay, San Francisco Chronicle

More than a year after it was introduced, a Web site for California voters run by the secretary of state is nothing more than a rabbit warren of information that prevents easy scrutiny of the connection between money and politics, watchdog groups across the nation say.

Groups that monitor campaign contributions say the site maintained by Secretary of State Bill Jones is one of the most difficult of its kind in the nation to navigate and recently was scaled back to make it even more difficult to analyze contributions. (continued)

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August 5, 2001 -- Davis backed by $100,000 club
By Carla Marinucci and Lance Williams, San Francisco Chronicle

They range from the media whiz who marketed the Power Rangers to a trucking executive with an autistic son to a billionaire horse-racing hobbyist.

They include the prison guards' union and the giants of the telecom industry, real estate developers, oil companies, insurance concerns, high-tech moguls and Hollywood producers. (continued)

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July 23, 2001 -- Governor sues to ID sponsors of attack ads
By Mark Martin, San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Gray Davis struck back yesterday at an organization running television ads that trash his power policies, asking a state court judge to force the group to reveal its donors.

Davis campaign officials say they believe big energy companies are behind the "Gray Out" media blitz, financed by the American Taxpayers Alliance, in Washington. (continued)

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July 17, 2001 -- MIT and Caltech researchers propose changes in voting technology
By Florence Olsen, Chronicle of Higher Education

In a report released Monday, researchers at the California and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology propose voting-technology reforms that they say could avoid millions of "lost" votes in 2004, but would require spending 50 percent more than is currently spent on elections. (continued)

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July 3, 2001 -- Political Notebook: Promises kept
By Nora K. Wallace, Santa Barbara News-Press

A nonpartisan voter advocacy group has recently unveiled a new "Archive of Campaign Promises," designed to help citizens determine whether politicians are keeping their promises. (continued)

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July 2, 2001 -- The Buzz: Promises, promises
By Kevin Yamamura, Sacramento Bee

The California Voter Foundation has launched an archive of campaign promises made by 31 California lawmakers during the 2000 election season.

The statements are divided among seven categories, ranging from clean air and water to transportation. (continued)

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June 3, 2001 -- Sunshine law casts shadow on privacy
By John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle

Tough campaign reform rules have combined with the Internet to make financial disclosure a virtual full monty for people giving money to political causes.

Public and private Web sites alike make it as easy to find someone who gave $100 to a state assemblyman as it is to spotlight a person who wrote a $750, 000 check to the Democratic National Committee. (continued)

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May 29, 2001 -- Lawmakers pushing for reforms in state's election system
By Jake Henshaw, The Desert Sun

The Florida presidential recount last year blew the cover off the nation's election problems, prompting a host of reform proposals in states from coast to coast.

In California those reforms have focused on modernizing voting machines and formalizing recount procedures as well as addressing practical issues such as increasing the number of poll workers. (continued)

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May 24, 2001 -- The Voter's Friend
By Jackson Griffith, Sacramento News & Review

Perhaps it hasn't crossed your mind yet. Kim Alexander, however, already is thinking ahead to next March. As president of the nonprofit California Voter Foundation, she knows that the lion's share of the statewide primary ballot will consist of various propositions and referenda. And part of her mission is to translate the often-inscrutable text of those ballot measures into language your average voter can comprehend, which CVF posts online at its Web site, (continued)

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April 15, 2001 -- Dix choses à savoir au sujet du vote électronique
By Kim Alexander, "Ten Things to Know About Voting Technology", as translated and appeared on the French web site ABC Politique.

Comme beaucoup d'autres personnes, j'ai été au début enthousiasmée par l'idée d'utiliser Internet pour compter et diffuser les votes. A la première réunion du groupe de travail sur le vote sur internet en Californie en 1999, c'est moi qui ai suggéré que quelque chose soit fait en Californie. Je remercie mes copains membres de ce groupe de travail d'avoir rejeté cette suggestion. (continued)

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March, 2001 -- The word on electronic voting
By Jim McKay, Government Technology (with short commentaries by Kim Alexander, Betsey Bayless, Susan Bysiewicz and David Jefferson)

Having emerged from the election debacle in Florida with questions about vote-tabulating processes, Americans are now asking about the viability of electronic and online voting, whether there is a difference between the two and if an online voting system could be developed that could forever put to rest the notion of hanging or dimpled chads.

We talked to four experts who weighed in on the issues surrounding online voting, including privacy, security and the differences between on-site touch-screen voting and voting online from work or home. (continued)

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March, 2001 -- Ten things to know about voting technology
By Kim Alexander, for the California Journal (also appeared in the Sacramento Bee's Forum section on March 11)

Like many people, I was initially excited about the idea of using the Internet to cast and count votes. At the first meeting of California's Internet Voting Task Force in 1999, I was the one suggesting it was something California should pursue. I'm grateful that my fellow task force members rejected my suggestion. In the months that followed, my own opinion changed dramatically. The more I learned, the more I realized how risky Internet voting can be. Here's what I believe Californians should know. (continued)

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February 23, 2001 -- Internet voting may be more hype than hope
By Nicole Bondi and McKinzie Brantley, iCan News Service

After the election fiasco in Florida last November, many states are clambering for a more effective way to cast ballots. One option that many people mention is logging onto the Internet and voting electronically.

But Internet voting is not a panacea, says Kim Alexander, president and founder of California Voter Foundation, a non-profit company formed in 1994 to educate people about voting and democracy. "It's something we should continue to study, but the technology at present does not exist in a way that can keep the voting system safe from fraud," Alexander says. (continued) (Note: this story may be difficult to view in Netscape)

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February, 2001 -- Venture Capitol
By Karen Southwick,

The hit rate is one in five, the invested capital over the last several years totals more than $100 million, while the return is unrealized. Doesn't sound like an ideal investment, does it? Yet Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs increasingly have been investing their money in California initiatives, a way of sending ballot measures directly to voters without going through the state legislature. In November's election, Silicon Valley funded the two most expensive propositions on California's ballot, channeling nearly $58 million into them. (continued)

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January 28, 2001 -- California State Assembly Elections Committee, Informational Hearing on Voting Technology
Originally held Jan. 17, 2001, Re-broadcast on C-SPAN, 2:00am EST Jan. 28th.

County election officials, voting technology vendors, state agency staff and election experts discuss California voting procedures, computerized and touch-screen voting, and Internet voting. (continued)

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December 5, 2000 -- Before you go cast your vote, politicians know about you
By Christina Nuckols, The Virginian-Pilot

Those smiling politicians who knock on your door and ask for your vote probably have a good idea already about whether they'll get it. Chances are, they know whether you're registered to vote and they know which elections and primaries you've voted in recently. But it doesn't stop there. They may also know the size of your paycheck, your age, whether you own your home and whether you've given money to Democrats or Republicans. (continued)

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November 30, 2000 -- Are Digital Ballots the Answer? Looking At Bay Area Voting Options
By David Bragi, special to the SF Gate

Shredded documents in a government dumpster, yes. The charred remains of incriminating letters in a Victorian ashtray, maybe. But whoever thought that the first great political crisis of the millennium would hinge on thousands of tiny blank paper rectangles littering the floor of a Palm Beach office building? (continued)

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November 30, 2000 -- Voting Reform
Andy Bowers, Host, Morning Edition, National Public Radio

NPR's Andy Bowers reports that state and local governments across the country are now seriously considering a change in the way their citizens vote. In California and other states, there are calls to banish punch cards. Some people suggest using optical scanners, touch screen computers, or ATM type voting technology. The way electors are distributed is also up for debate in Illinois, which currently has a winner-take-all system. (4:12) (click here to listen to the story in Real Audio)

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November 28, 2000 -- Internet voting discussion on Fresh Air
Terry Gross, Host, Fresh Air, National Public Radio

CVF president Kim Alexander and host Terry Gross discuss voting technology on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air". The program aired November 28, 2000 -- click here to listen to the Real Audio archive (voting technology segment is toward end).

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November 24, 2000 -- ATM-like Ballots seen as Best Answer
By Ken McLaughlin, Marry Anne Ostrom and Cheryl Devall, San Jose Mercury News

Election acrimony in Florida could provide the impetus for the political will -- and the necessary billions of dollars -- to overhaul antiquated election procedures and restore confidence in U.S. elections. Many election officials, political scientists, computer engineers and voting-rights advocates say there is a system that could make elections virtually 100 percent accurate, improve access to polls and be in place nationwide by the next presidential election. (continued)

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November 18, 2000 -- Technology again shows its - and our - flaws
By Michelle Quinn, San Jose Mercury News

In the information age, when almost everything is tied to machines, the debate in Florida underlines people's already ambivalent relationship with the technology on which they depend: They expect it to be perfect all the time but don't really trust it. The Florida case really points out the differences between human and machines and the flaws of both, say scientists and those who study technology. (continued - for a fee)

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November 11, 2000 -- Casting votes via Internet coming, but still years off
By T.J. Sullivan, Ventura County Star

After days of uncertainty, accusations and conspiracy theories, the recount of Florida balllots in the United States presidential election has finally identified the sure loser -- the election system. Voting systems experts, who have spent years studying how to make a better ballot, say the 2000 presidential election has drawn more national attention than ever to problems with the US election system, and the possibility of replacing it with computer-based voting via the Internet. (continued)

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November 11, 2000 -- Fiasco Reveals a Ballot System Full of Holes
By Michael A. Hiltzik, Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times

To paraphrase the old saw: If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we devise a foolproof voting system? The ongoing fiasco in Palm Beach County, Fla., where about 19,000 potentially crucial presidential ballots were invalidated because of voter confusion and error, makes the question more urgent than ever. (continued)

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November 8, 2000 -- Internet voting discussion on Beyond Computers
Pete Woodall, Host, Beyond Computers, National Public Radio

CVF president Kim Alexander and's Mark Strama discuss the pros and cons of Internet voting on National Public Radio's "Beyond Computers". The program aired November 8, 2000 -- click here to listen to the Real Audio archive.

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November 7, 2000 -- Voters flock to polls for nail-biter
By Zachary Coile, San Francisco Examiner

Spurred on by a nail-biter presidential race, Bay Area voters went to the polls Tuesday in what state and local election officials were predicting would be a high-turnout election. Many Bay Area counties reported a surge in absentee ballots requested and returned as of late Monday. With a record number of absentee ballots requested statewide, election officials say they won't finish counting the ballots Tuesday night, meaning the results of close races throughout the state could be in doubt for days or weeks. (continued)

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November 7, 2000 -- Internet peut-il amener les Américains aux urnes?
By Isabelle Boucq, (French publication)

Les Américains choisissent leur prochain président en meme temps que des centaines d'éius aux niveaux fédéral et local. La plupart des candidats ont mené campagne en ligne. Impossible pour autant de conclure qu'Internet a révolutionné le processus électoral. (continued)

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November 7, 2000 -- Net won't win votes for political ads
By Monica Soto, Seattle Times

How many Internet ads should the Democrats and Republicans have purchased to reach voters? If you're a Democrat, the answer was one. If you're a Republican, it was roughly 20. In one of the tightest, most expensive presidential races in U.S. history, the Bush and Gore campaigns made little use of Internet advertising as a way to reach voters, according to Seattle-based AdRelevance, a division of Media Metrix, which tracks banner ads. (continued)

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November 6, 2000 -- Voters for sale
By Aaron Pressman, The Industry Standard

Aristotle knows your name, address and political affiliation. Now it wants to sell its data on 150 million voters to online marketers. When members of Congress run for re-election, more than half rely on the services of a small San Francisco firm for critical information about voters in their districts. (continued)

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November 5, 2000 -- Guns and grass vie for voters' approval
By Kathleen Kenna, The Toronto Star

What's an American election if dope isn't on the ballot? Or guns? Or race? In addition to choosing a new president, assorted legislators and a host of public officials, many Americans on Tuesday will be asked to vote on a range of questions from government spending to neighbours' lifestyles. The list of choices far outnumbers anything Canadians will see at the ballot booth Nov. 27. (continued)

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November 4, 2000 -- Voter angst keeping race unpredictable
By Jim Puzzanghera, San Jose Mercury News

Just the mention of the presidential campaign brings a scowl to Michael Yourchisin's face, as if there were curdled milk in his latte. "I'm displeased with both major-party candidates," said Yourchisin, a middle-aged school teacher and registered Democrat from Seaville, N.J., who was relaxing with his coffee at a mall in King of Prussia, Pa., located outside of Philadelphia, last weekend. (continued)

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November 1, 2000 -- Party Activists - Young voters find fun ways to share information
By Laurel Rosen, San Francisco Chronicle

Faced with ever longer and more complex ballots, many Bay Area voters in their 20s and 30s are finding creative ways to debate the issues and decide how to vote. Defying stereotypes about their so-called apathetic, ill-informed generation, they're holding dinners and parties to pore over the handbooks in preperation for next week's election. (continued)

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November 1, 2000 -- Alpert shifts tactics, raps Stirling record
By Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union Tribune

Until this week, political advisers to Dede Alpert and Larry Stirling had adopted far different strategies to win support for their clients, even though each side has plenty of cash to spread its message. But in the waning days of a closely watched race for the 39th District seat in the California Senate, the Alpert camp has begun addressing its competition by name and criticizing the challenger's record. (continued)

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October 31, 2000 -- E-lections of the Future
By Richard Cowan, News

The gentle light of autumn's dawnwashes over the bedroom of Citizen A and Citizen B on Nov. 7, 2000, Election Day in the United States. The young couple, still half-awake, turn lovingly to each other. Fifteen minutes later, Citizen A and Citizen B reach instinctively for the computer mouse atop their respective nightstands. They point. They click. They've just cast their ballots for the next president of the United States via the Internet. (continued)

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October 30, 2000 -- E-Politics Comes of Age in Election 2000
By Blair S. Walker,

Every state is using the Internet to educate voters about candidates running for state and local office, according to the California Voter Foundation (CVF). Delaware and South Carolina weren't offering anything online earlier in the early stages of the campaign, but by last week both had Web sites containing candidate lists, CVF's Saskia Mills says. (continued)

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October 28, 2000 -- Silicon valley and the online election
By Kevin Anderson, BBC News Online

Hackers working for the presidential nominee of the New Economy Party used a sophisticated virus to steer votes cast online to their candidate in the election of 2004. This is the type of hypothetical headline that David Jefferson fears. The software engineer served as the technical chair of California's Internet Voting Task Force, and while he sees great potential for online voting, he says that computers are far too vulnerable to attack to allow voters to cast their ballots from their home or office PCs. (continued) David Jefferson is a member of CVF's Board of Directors.

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October 24, 2000 -- Foundation helps educate the voters
By Sumita Mukherji, The Davis Enterprise

Are you still confused about state propositions or wondering which candidate to select? Then turn to the California Voter Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization designed to improve voter and civic education and promote Internet disclosure of campaign finanace data. (continued)

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October 12, 2000 -- Second Presidential Debate Analysis on National Public Radio
The Diane Rehm Show, hosted by Steve Roberts

The morning after the second presidential debate, guests, including CVF president Kim Alexander, compared the second debate to the first, and talked about how these events may be influencing voters in the final weeks of the campaigns.(listen to the show in Real Audio)

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October 10, 2000 -- Measure O backer paid to promote it: Foe calls arrangement 'inappropriate'
By Mary Lynne Vellinga, Sacramento Bee

A prominent senior service provider who has been campaigning for Measure O on the grounds that it will help seniors has been paid thousands of dollars by the developer sponsoring the ballot measure. If passed by voters on Nov. 7, the initiative would open up 2,000 acres of grazing land in eastern Sacramento County to a gated, seniors-only subdivision. (continued)

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October 6, 2000 -- School Voucher Battle Sets Cost Record
By Michael Bazeley, San Jose Mercury News

A money war between a Redwood City venture capitalist and the state teachers union is turning this year's school voucher debate into the most costly education-related initiative campaign ever, new finance statements below. Together, both sides in the Proposition 38 campaign had amassed a total of $45 million in cash, loans and stock through Sept. 30, according to documents filed with the Secretary of State's office. (continued)

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October, 2000 -- Vote Naked? Not yet.
By Anya Sostek, Governing Magazine

When Kim Alexander first heard about Internet voting, one thought sprang to her mind: no-brainer. As president of the California Voter Foundation, which promotes democracy through technology, she was excited about the potential of allowing people to vote over the Internet as a way of engaging new voters. (continued)

October 4, 2000 -- Debate Analysis on National Public Radio

CVF president Kim Alexander and other guests on The Diane Rehm Show discuss the first presidential debate and its potential effect on public opinion in the remaining weeks before the election. (listen to the show in Real Audio!).

October 3, 2000 -- Voter Registration Declining
By Natalie Singer, The Desert Sun

As it stands right now, roughly one in three Riverside County residents wil be making decisions for everyone when Nov. 7 rolls around. With the Oct. 10 registration deadline quickly approaching, only 66 percent of the county's 938,000 eligible voters are registered for the coming election. (continued)

September, 2000 -- Coming of Age on the Web
By Claudia Buck, The California Journal

Every candidate -- from school board to president of the United States -- needs a spot in cyberspace, making the Internet an essential campaign tool. The 'Net is changing the way the political universe thinks about campaigning. (continued)

September 29, 2000 -- Campaign on the Net: Why California Voters Have it Best
By Michael Cornfield, Election 2000

Democracy needs voters who are competent enough to decide what's best for them. When enough people are informed and engaged, the political system works. Both conditions must apply: the best-informed person in the world doesn't help democracy if he is not sharing what he knows with others.(continued)

September 28, 2000 -- Kim Alexander on the Future of Voting
Moderated by

Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, participates in a live, online chat with about technology, the future of voting, and the 2000 campaign. Click here to read her remarks.

September 18, 2000 -- Is There a Future for Voting in Pajamas?
By Suzette McLoone,

Imagine it's Election Day. You are sick and stay home from the office. You log on to your home computer and cast your vote while drinking your morning coffee. Or that you are a parent with three kids. You drop them off at day care, race to work and vote from your desk in the five minutes you have before your first meeting. Or that you are elderly, with few options when it comes to transportation. (continued)

September 12, 2000 -- Kim Alexander on ZDTV Radio

CVF's President, Kim Alexander, talks with ZDTV Radio about digital sunlight,, and more. (click here to hear the story)

August 31, 2000 -- Many Sites are Trolling for Voters
By Rebecca Fairley-Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

This election year, if you visit a Web site created by any group with political interests, you will probably have a chance to register to vote as well. Links to voter registration sites are appearing on the Web sites of candidates, political parties, groups for teenagers and even on a site for a Jeep owners' club.

But the registration process is not as simple as clicking on Send. Because signatures are required on voter registration cards, online systems often merely start a process that must be completed by mail. (continued)

August 21, 2000 -- Public Records Get a Little More Public
By Kent Davis-Packard , Christian Science Monitor

Local courthouses are full of all kinds of interesting information: child-custody cases, petitions for divorce on grounds of everything from adultery to abuse, people's entire financial histories. The information's always been public - but it hasn't always been easy for casual observers to get. That's about to change.

Courts across the country are moving toward pouring their musty documents - and all the juicy details they contain - onto the Internet. (continued)

August 18, 2000 -- Web expanded at convention, but reach into homes uncertain
Thomas D. Elias, Special to Washington Times

All through the Democratic National Convention, the talk was strictly happy along Internet Ally and Democracy Row until someone asked about the Internet services' profits and actual number of users. Then - with one or two exceptions among the 62 Web site representatives on hand at the press center - there was hemming and hawing. (continued)

August 8, 2000 -- Voting -- Go For It!
Editorial, Bakersfield Californian

If ever there was a year to jump into the political fray, this one is shaping up as one of the best recent ones. At least in the two major parties, we now have tickets firmly in place. And regardless of one's partisan or ideological bent, the quality of candidates - including in so-called "down-ticket" races - is better than we have seen in some time. (continued)

August 7, 2000 -- Oregon in national spotlight
By Peter Wong, Statesman Journal

With the fate of 26 ballot measures in their hands, Oregon voters will have their homework cut out for them in the next 90 days. Once again, the nation will be watching.

"Oregon is in a class by itself," said M. Dane Waters, president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute of Washington, D.C. "A lot of attention will be paid to your state not only because of the sheer number but also the kind of issues on the ballot." (continued)

August 7, 2000 -- Jersey divorce records are heading for the Internet
By Robert Schwaneberg, Star-Ledger

The court file in a typical divorce case is a gold mine of information, much of it very personal, some of it embarrasing.

If the case has gone on for any time, the record is likely to contain a wealth of financial information. Depending on the level of hostility between the parting spouses, there may be unproved allegations of betrayal, sexual peccadilloes or worse. (continued)

July 25, 2000 -- Internet Set for Prominent Role at Conventions
By Christina Landers, Copley News Service

Back in Los Angeles, online reporting at the Democratic National Convention was limited to a cluster of about a dozen reporters hunched over laptop computers. The "coverage" they pumped out consisted mainly of events listings and transcripts of speeches that were intended to complement newspaper articles. (continued)

July 17, 2000 -- Interview with KQED

Kim Alexander and representatives from Project Vote Smart, the Easy Reading Voter Guide, and Smart Voter talk with Michael Krasney about voter education and how the public can obtain election information, on KQED's "FORUM". (continued)

July 14, 2000 -- Woman Monopolizes Election Web Sites
By Daniel Weintraub, Orange County Register

A new company run by a former California journalist has cornered the market on hundreds of Internet addresses coveted by supporters and opponents of ballot propositions across the country., based in Oakland, is giving away links to some of the Web site names but is leasing the rights to others for as much as $5,000 per election. (conitnued)

July 3, 2000 -- Casting Your Vote on the Internet: Yea or Nay
By Donna Ladd, Interactive Week

They use the Internet for shopping, research, flirting, even as a sex tool. Imagine if it became the ultimate tool of democracy, enabling millions of people to vote without leaving their homes or offices. Vendors of online voting software believe it is the next inevitable step in the evolution of our automated Information Age. (continued)

July 3, 2000 -- A Second Chance: The Potential of Politics Online
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, Interactive Week

In a remote stretch of the Montana Rockies lies a ranch where all the hired hands are political junkies. The only things herded and roped there are the positions of political candidates.

The ranch, called the Great Divide, serves as a headquarters for Project Vote Smart, a nonprofit group that was one of the first to provide information about candidates on the Internet. In the war room of the ranch, a large banner reads, "Quiet please! Democracy is being reborn." (continued)

June 24, 2000 -- Fund Disclosures Should Include Sources, Not Just Where it's Spent
By Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News

When I'm looking into a topic of public debate, I'm often confronted with positions taken by purportedly independent organizations eager to tell the world what's correct and why. I welcome all information that might help me understand the topic better, but I suspect that money sometimes influences what I am being told -- and I wish I could know one way or the other.

This came to mind during the past week, when some pro-Microsoft lobbying and public-affairs organizations told the Wall Street Journal that they'd been the target of suspicious incidents, including the loss of documents and the theft of laptop computers. (continued)

June 23, 2000 -- Talk Looks at Net Influence in Politics
By Christopher Hoffman, New Haven Register

The Internet is a powerful tool that will eventually transform American politics, but it remains unlcear when those dramatic changes will take place or what form they will take. That will be the theme of a lecture Internet political experts Kim Alexander and Graeme Browning will give tonight at the Festival of Arts & Ideas at Linsley Chittenden Hall, Room 102, 63 High St. (continued)

June 5, 2000 -- Interview with

Kim Alexander, President of the California Voter Foundation, talks with about bringing more information to voters through the Internet, and about the importance of secure voting. (continued)

May 16, 2000 -- Internet Voting: Proceed Cautiously
By Kim Alexander and David Jefferson, for the San Jose Mercury News

Internet voting has recently captured the interest of election professionals and political activists as an alternative to voting in person at the polls or by mail with an absentee ballot. At first thought, electronic voting over the Internet seems a natural and even exciting prospect, one that promises to serve more voters more conveniently than ever before, including underserved groups such as students, working people, the military, travelers and others who cannot get to their home polls conveniently on election day. (continued)

May 10, 2000 -- World Wide Webbys: A Global Audience Will Log on to This Year's Awards Ceremonies for Web Page Design
By Stephanie McKinnon McDade, Sacramento Bee

Lisa Scovel wants a Webby. But she says she won't cry if she doesn't get one; at least her first dream of attending the country's hippest awards ceremony will have come true. Thursday night, Scovel, who lives in Sacramento, will have a seat at the Webby Awards, the ceremony that recognizes the most creative, innovative and user-friendly sites on the World Wide Web.(continued).

May 6, 2000 -- Viewpoint: Initiatives fly landing pattern for November
By Dianne Hardisty, Bakersfield Californian

Those who thought deciding the fate of 20 initiatives on the March primary ballot was a bit much should brace themselves for November. So far, only one initiative has qualified for the November ballot. It proposes to allow the use of private contractors for engineering and architectural services on public works project. But 43 initiatives are being circulated, with proponents attempting to gather sufficient signatures of registered voters to place them on the November ballot. (continued)

April 20, 2000 -- Group Says For-Profit Political Web Site is Breaking the Law
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

In a case that raises questions about the commercialization of politics on the Internet, a nonprofit group has filed a complaint with federal regulators against the start-up company, contending that candidate information on the site constitutues illegal contributions to campaigns. (continued).

March 8, 2000 -- California Voter Initiatives
By Ina Jaffe, National Public Radio

NPR's Ina Jaffe reports on the results of voting on some twenty ballot initiatives. Those approved include a ban on gay marriage and stiffer penalties for juvenile crime. (4 minutes; requires Real Player)

March 7, 2000 -- Web Can Rescue Last-Minute Voters
By Matthew B. Stannard, Oakland Tribune

So you waited until the last minute to do your civic duty, this is the first newspaper you've picked up in a month, and here it is primary day and you're thumbing through a voter guide packed with 147 pages of small, italicized print -- plus a 15-page supplement.

You're in trouble. Unless you've got access to the World Wide Web. The Internet offers a cornucopia of election information, from candidates' home pages to non-profit sites offering nonpartisan analyses of all 20 state propositions on California's ballot (continued).

March 7, 2000 -- Gay Marriage, Casinos on California Ballot
By Kathleen Kenna, The Toronto Star

It's ``Fat Tuesday'' - the last Mardi Gras day of partying before Lent - and millions of Californians are voting on gambling, sex and smokes.

Forget about the presidential sweepstakes in 15 states and one territory today. The hottest issues in the country's largest state are the 20 binding propositions. (continued)

March 7, 2000 -- Lots of Reasons For State's Voters to Head for Polls
By Greg Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle

Although the race for president is the main lure that could draw a record number of Californians to the polls today, there's a dizzying number of other issues on the ballot -- everything from a U.S. Senate race to injecting purified sewage into groundwater supplies.

In sheer quantity of state propositions -- there are 20 -- this is the busiest ballot in 12 years. (continued)

February 27, 2000 -- Internet Site Slices, Dices Propositions
By Dorothy Korber, Los Angeles Daily News

Like hibernating bears awakened three months early, California voters are rubbing their eyes and trying to make sense of a long and confusing March 7 ballot. Things were simpler when our state primary was in June, and the presidential race was a done deal.

This time our votes count, heaven help us, so we have to sit up and pay attention. But preparing for this election is like cramming for the bar exam. The open primary means we can vote for any candidate, regardless of political party. That means 23 choices for president on the ballot, from Donald Trump to Ralph Nadar (continued).

February 22, 2000 -- This Song Goes Out to All the Propositions Out There
By Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times

Political sing-alongs were as outdated as "Happy Days are Here Again," but now the California Voter Foundation has on its Web site an animated tune, "The Proposition Song," romping through every measure on the March 7 ballot, like: "Prop Twelve is a bond act, it helps parks around the state, "Then Prop Thirteen--not that Thirteen; that was nineteen seventy-eight." (continued)

February 18, 2000 -- Experts Want to Dissect McCain's Internet Fundraising
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

When Senator John McCain 's campaign said supporters had contrinuted more than $2 million through his Web site in the days after the New Hampshire primary, the number made headlines -- and raised eyebrows among close followers of Internet politics.

Other campaigns were quick to question the McCain figure, and now the campaign is being asked to back up its claim. After conferring with Internet political experts who are skeptical of the numbers, a professor at George Washington University on Thursday asked the campaign to give him a list of donors so he can survey them to ask how they contributed (continued).

February 13, 2000 -- Many Have Their Say in County Campaigns
By T.J. Sullivan, Ventura County Star

With about three weeks left until the March 7 primary, candidates for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors are expected to begin speeding up their campaigns, powered by more than a quarter million dollars, 26 percent more money than candidates for the same offices had at this point four years ago.

Those dollars could mean more political consultants, more campaign signs and more telemarketers to pitch platforms. But in campaigns, more money also means more scrutiny (continued).

January 26, 2000 -- North Poll
By Patrick May, San Jose Mercury News

Great-grandmother Myrtle Johnson and 17 other Republicans took time off this week from their dog-mushing, gold-digging, animal-skinning routine here to help a small Seattle Internet company make a little bit of online history. Across the street from the Glue Pot cafe, as locals dug into steaming bowls of reindeer stew, these hearty GOP pioneers cast their votes by computer in the nation's much-hyped, frist-ever online presidential straw poll.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush squeaked past publisher Steve Forbes by just five votes Monday. But the big winner was, one of a handful of fims racing to become the of elections (continued).

January 17, 2000 -- "E-Voting" Urged as Way to Lift Turnout
By Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times

We shop by computer, buy stocks by computer, keep in touch with old friends by computer. Now, at the dawn of a new century, we may soon have the option of voting online.

Officials in one California county are so gung-ho about the idea that they hope to offer voters the option in November of casting a ballot via the Internet. (continued)

January 16, 2000 -- A Web of Information on Candidates, Issues
By Janet Wilson, Los Angeles Times

Four years ago, political Web sites were bare-bones affairs. But now Web sites by candidates, voter-advocacy groups and even for-profit Internet companies abound.

Many are sophisticated multi-service sites with new information posted daily. Others are in the process of developing resources, such as sample ballots, that could be helpful come election day. Either way, if you want to research a political issue, check campaign contributions or even buy a bumper sticker, you can do it on the Web.

"A lot of people are not satisfied with just a 30-second TV spot to make an election choice," said Kim Alexander, president of California Voter Foundation, a pioneer in online political information. (continued)

January 10, 2000 -- Internet Voting: A Touchy Issue
By David Einstein,

On the surface, the Arizona Democratic primary appears no different from any other election this year. Yet it will probably find its way into the history books, because it will mark the first time that voters can cast their ballots via their home computers.

Several other states are considering using the Internet as a high-speed ballot box. And a handful of companies equipped to operate online elections are spurring them on. A successful test in Arizona on March 11 could give the process much-needed credibility, speeding the day when elections will be decided by mouse clicks instead of punch cards (continued).

December 30, 1999 -- State OKs Petition Drive to Vote Via Net
By Vicki Haddock, San Francisco Examiner

With more than half of eligible Californians saying they are "too busy" to vote, the state is being asked to let voters cast cyber-ballots, from home or work, with a simple click of a mouse.

This week, the secretary of state's office authorized proponents to begin collecting signatures for a "digital democracy" initiative that would permit Californians to register and vote via the Internet. The initiative, sponsored by, a New York company that sells Internet election technology, needs 419,260 voter signatures by May 25 to qualify for the November ballot (continued).

December 20, 1999 -- Democracy Goes Cyberspace: Voting by Click of Mouse
By Paul Van Slambrouck, Christian Science Monitor

Over the past several years, the Internet has begun remaking key aspects of American life: communication, information, banking and commerce. It is now poised to start nibbling away at the way citizens govern themselves, too.

Arizona, in a first for the nation, plans to allow voters in its Democratic presidential primary March 11 to cast ballots on the Internet. Democrats will be permitted to vote online from home, work, or at traditional polling stations. While the issues involved in spreading Web voting are too complex to predict rapid growth of such ballots, the Arizona move is seen as a pacesetter that could galvanize fast action elsewhere (continued).

December 16, 1999 -- Most States Now Offering Campaign Data Online
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

Just four years ago, details on contributions to state political campaigns were locked up far from public view. In Illinois, for example, residents had to travel to state offices, identify themselves and explain why they wanted to view the records. But now, according to two recent studies, most states are unlocking the filing cabinets and posting details about campaign contributions on the Internet. Illinois, once considered one of the states with the worst disclosure practices, is now viewed as a model.

In fact, Illinois was ranked first nationwide in one of the most comprehensive studies on the issue to date. As part of the Digital Sunlight Awards program, the result of an 11-month research project, each state received rankings based upon an extensive list of criteria. The research was conducted by the nonprofit California Voter Foundation in Sacramento and financed by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago (continued).

December 16, 1999 -- State in Race to Make it Feasible to Vote Online
By Karen De Sa, San Jose Mercury

Aggressive attempts to make online voting a permanent feature of America's democratic process are sweeping the country, with one Silicon Valley county among the leaders.

This week, California Secretary of State Bill Jones revealed what the state's strategy for online voting is likely to look like in the coming years. On Thursday, Arizona Democratic Party announced that its March presidential primary will be the first legally binding public election conducted online. Next year, Americans living abroad may be voting over the Internet as part of a pilot project launched by the Pentagon.

In San Mateo County, a forward-thinking county clerk has made Internet voting a priority, launching an appeal to the nation's software firms to get their technology approved and ready in time for the November elections -- a goal most observers think is unattainable (continued).

December 15, 1999 -- California Commission Sees Big Obstacles to Internet Voting
By Rebecca Fairley, New York Times Cybertimes

A state commission in California, which is conducting the first state-level study of online voting, will recommend waiting several years before allowing voters to cast ballots online from homes or offices, members of the commission said on Tuesday.

While the California Internet Voting Task Force is not expected to release its report until January, Secretary of State Bill Jones discussed its conclusions at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday during a news conference held by a company that makes Internet voting systems (continued).

December 10, 1999 -- San Francisco Mayor's Race Awash in Soft Money
By Michael Warren, Associated Press

Exploiting a campaign finance loophole opened by his lawyer, Willie Brown is benefiting from at least $1.1 million in special interest spending, much of it from sources that won't be disclosed until after Dec. 14 election, city records show. The total for so-called soft money is about 800 times greater than in the 1995 mayor's race, when combined independent expenditures for all candidates totaled just $1,250.

"He's writing the game plan for the future" of political fundraising by limiting donations to his own campaign and allowing interest groups to collect and spend unlimited funds on his behalf, says Charles Marsteller of California Common Cause (continued).

December 10, 1999 -- Generation Gap in S.F. Mayor Race
By Ilene Lelchuck, The San Francisco Examiner

Eun Young Lee, a 30-year-old Web page designer with a silver ball pierced through her tongue, never volunteered for any kind of political campaign. Not until Supervisor Tom Ammiano won a spot in Tuesday's mayoral runoff election with a historic write-in bid.

"I remember him from junior high, when was saw a documentary about the assassination of Harvey Milk," Lee said from Ammiano's Mission Street campaign office Tuesday during her first day as a political operative, making phone calls to recruit more volunteers. "I feel like I already know him as a person."(continued).

December 10, 1999 -- Putting Political Lucre in the Digital Sunlight
By Editorial, The Roanoke Times

Posting Virginia campaign-finance data on the Internet is a good step, but it hasn't eliminated the need for reform.

While campaign-finance reform moves forward in Virginina at the pace of a glacier, the state to its credit has raced into cyberspace with the elctronic disclosure of political contributions. As a result, the Old Dominion is one of seven states recently honored with a "Digital Sunlight Award" by the California Voter Foundation, an advocate for online democracy (continued).

December 9, 1999 -- Digital Disclosure Makes Headway in States
By Ellen Sung,

Despite years of debate over campaign-finance issues in Congress and in the states, no progress has yet been made in far-reaching attempts to ban soft-money contributions, provide candidates with free television time or increase matching funds. But in one arena of campaign-finance reform -- fully disclosing contributions electronically -- there has been relatively remarkable progress.

In 1993, San Francisco became the first jurisdiction in the country to require electronic filing. Today, 32 states either offer electronic-filing programs or are in the process of creating them, and 35 states post some kind of campaign-finance data on official Web sites, according to a new study by the California Voter Foundation released this week (continued).

December 9, 1999 -- Netting Out the Vote
By Lindsey Arent, Wired News

You might find yourself clicking through your next election ballot sooner than you think. The prospect of improving voter turnout has created a surge of interest in Internet voting from Alaska to Florida and several states in between.

Arizona Democrats recently revealed plans to offer an online voting option alongside traditional paper ballots in their 11 March primary. Pre-registered voters will be able to vote from a PC -- either at home or at the polling place -- using an encrypted password (continued).

December 8, 1999 -- Effect of E-Campaigns on 2000 Elections Still Uncertain
By Lisa Meyer,

The Internet has radically changed the political process in the United States, dramatically affecting everything from fund raising to e-stumping to registering online. But will e-campaigns fundamentally impact Election 2000? Or are they still too underdeveloped to make much of a real difference in how candidates campaign and how the voters cast their ballots?

Some experts say they just aren't sure how to answer that question.

"The jury is still out on how much is going to happen," said national political consultant Jack Walsh, who worked on Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign (continued).

November 12, 1999 -- In E-Politics, Clinton's Ex-Advisor Still Plays by His Rules
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

One of the best-known veterans of old-fashioned hard-ball politics, Dick Morris, has turned to the Internet and shaken up e-politics.

Morris' method of working the Internet involves asking visitors to vote yes or no on issues featured on his Web site, which converts the votes into thousands of e-mail messages that are sent to elected officials.(continued)

November 9, 1999 -- Technology Falls Short in Clinton Chat, Viewers Say
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

For those who overcame technological obstacles Monday to view President Clinton's online chat, the event, with its jerky video and scratchy sound, provoked comical comparisons.

The participants' faces looked like the digitally blurred-out faces of suspects on police shows, one viewer said. The audio gave voices a honking sound like the adults in "Charlie Brown" cartoons. And the written transcripts -- produced in real time by nine typists -- were sometimes silly.(continued)

October 26, 1999 -- My Two Reforms Will Help
By Kim Alexander, for

The problem with money in American politics is that it's something like an air bubble underneath a carpet - if you step on it in one place, it just pops up somewhere else. That's because the courts have repeatedly affirmed that everyone in our capitalist democracy has a constitutionally-protected, First Amendment right to speak with their dollars.

Trying to get special interest money out of American politics is a dead end. There are always going to be people who want to subvert the political process for their own personal gain

October 19, 1999 -- Digital Democracy
By Daniel Weintraub, Orange County Register

Behind a counter in a stuffy room beneath the state Capitol rotunda rise row after row of shelves filled with printed copies of every bill introduced in the Legislature this year.

For nearly 150 years, the Bill Room, as it is known here, was the best place to get your hands on a proposal to change California law. It was either that or call or write to a member of the Legislature, if you could find the name and address. (continued)

September 21, 1999 -- Web site offers answers to S.F. election questions
By Ilene Lelchuk, San Francisco Examiner

Fourteen mayoral candidates. Eleven ballot measures. Five district attorney hopefuls. And intimidating stacks of campaign literature headed for your mailbox.

Need help sorting through it before San Francisco's Nov. 2 election? Acme Software of Santa Clara has launched what is says is the first interactive question-and-answer Web site. On, visitors can ask questions for candidates or organizations rooting for and against the ballot measures. (continued).

September 14, 1999 -- E-Campaigns
The Diane Rehm Show, National Public Radio

Guest host Steve Roberts moderates a discussion about how presidential candidates are using the Internet. The panel discusses not only how traditional campaigns are adding the Internet to their repertoire, but whether the Internet may be used as a tool to revolutionize the American political process. Guests are Michael Cornfield, professor at the graduate school of political management at George Washington University, Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, and Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. (listen to the show).

September 14, 1999 -- Shays-Meehan Bill
By Peter Overby, National Public Radio

NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Shays-Meehan Bill, the bipartisan campaign reform bill that the Senate takes up today. Shays-Meehan is not expected to gain enough support to defeat the filibuster expected from Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The last time Congress passed meaningful campaign finance reform was in 1979. (listen to the story).

September 3, 1999 -- Campaign Sites Unclear on Use of Personal Data, Study Says
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times

At most Web sites for Presidential candidates, the drill is the same: To sign up as a volunteer, a voter must surrender detailed personal information. But whether the campaigns are selling that information to other organizations -- a practice that could deter widespread Internet political participation -- remains largely a mystery, according to a study released Thursday.

More than half of the campaign Web sites gave users no information about how their personal information would be used , according to the study, conducted on Aug. 27 by the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology. (continued)

September 3, 1999 -- Innovator redefines California's politics on Net
By John T. Moore, Philanthropy News Network

When Kim Alexander was 11 years old, she learned one of the most important lessons in her life from her father, who was running for reelection to the Culver City, Calif., town council.

A stranger came to their home and offered her dad a $500 contribution to his reelection campaign. The young girl, who was with her father when the man arrived at their home, didn't understand why her dad refused to take the donation.

"I don't know that man," he explained to her. "I don't want to owe him anything." (continued)

August 22, 1999 -- Bock to host $1K/person fund-raiser
By Robert Salladay, San Francisco Examiner

Before taking office, Green Party Assemblywoman Audie Bock of Oakland wrote an essay lambasting California's freewheeling campaign fund-raising system, which she said was designed to "squelch electoral justice."

Five months later, Bock will host a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser in Sacramento Monday at Virga's Courtyard, a central hangout for politicians and lobbyists. The crusader for campaign finance reform now says she will take money from any special interest that wants to give, including Big Tobacco. (continued)

August 16, 1999 -- Internet Political Speech
By Larry Abramson, National Public Radio

NPR's Larry Abramson reports on a dispute over political speech on the Internet. The Federal Election Commission is getting ready to decide whether people whose Web sites criticize candidates have to file official disclosure forms on how much they've spent on the site. In one case, a Massachusetts man bought the rights to the domain name, "," and created a site that criticizes the Republican front-runner in a parody version of a candidate Web site. The campaign says the site owner should have to disclose his financing in the same way people who use other media for political speech do. (5:45) (listen to the story)

August 16, 1999 -- E-votes spur new election debate
By J. Scott Orr, New Jersey Star-Ledger

The worlds of politics and technology are embarking on a digital age debate over the shape of the 21st-century voting booth.

At issue is the e-vote, the casting of ballots from computers over the Internet. At first glance, the idea of voting at home seems appealing enough: No more lines at the polling places, no more last-minute pleas for votes from partisans -- in short, no more hassles on Election Day. (continued)

August 14, 1999 -- Study Warns of Risks in Internet Voting
By Rebecca Fairley Rainey, New York Times Cybertimes

With the warning that "the polling place is about to be abducted by aliens," an election watchdog group this week released a study cautioning policy-makers against blindly backing Internet voting without carefully assessing the potential for fraud.

The 30-page study by the Voting Integrity Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks voter fraud cases, is one of the first signs of the backlash that will inevitably greet the increasingly popular concept of Internet-based voting. (continued)

August 13, 1999 -- Campaign Web Sites
By Larry Abramson, National Public Radio

Npr's Larry Abramson reports on presidential candidates' use of the Internet. They all have web sites, and some, like Bill Bradley, are finding it's a good way to recruit volunteers (4:46) (listen to the story).

August 6, 1999 -- Voters May Sound Off on High-Speed Net Plans
By John Borland, CNET

A handful of ballot initiative drives are about to put voters across the country in the unprecedented position of sounding off over the future of a high-speed Internet.

In Denver, a proposed ballot initiative would allow city voters to decide whether high-speed cable networks should be opened to use by all Internet service providers (ISPs) (continued).

August 5, 1999 -- GOP Backers Fuel Governor's Record Fundraising Blitz
By Virginia Ellis, Los Angeles Times

Gov. Gray Davis heavily tapped business interests, including insurance, oil and agriculture, that are traditionally the financial backbone of Republican politics as he raised a record $6.3 million since January, reports released Wednesday show.

The bulk of his contributions came from a relatively small number of corporations, wealthy executives and trade groups. Many of the business groups making generous donations have a big stake in issues pending before the Legislature and governmental agencies--particularly utility interests, whose future profits depend on the outcome of decisions relating to electricity deregulation and the renewal of cable franchises. (continued)

August 1, 1999 -- Thompson, Wooley Amassing Funds
By James W. Sweeney, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

At a time when there isn't even a strong rumor of an opponent in next year's election, Reps/ Mike Thompson and Lynn Woolsey are building enormous campaign war chests.

Thompson raised almost $250,000 during his first six months in office, according to campaign finance reports made public Friday. Combined with a hefty surplus form his 1998 campaign, the St, Helena Democrat's bankroll is approaching $400,000. (continued).

July 29, 1999 -- PC Users Prefer Practicality
By Matt Beer, San Francisco Examiner

More a butler than a muse. Despite high-tech industry hype about computers becoming the focus of our future, users really want their machines to become everyday household appliances, helping them do the laundry, stand in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles and handle other mundane chores.

So says a recent survey of 1,001 computer users released by Texas-based Dell Computer Corp., a computer manufacturer. (continued)

July 23, 1999 -- New Rules Prompt Speedy Access to Data on Presidential Candidates
By Rebecca Fairley Rainey, New York Times

As politicians continue to talk about the issue of campaign finance reform, new rules are forcing candidates to provide better access to information about their contributors. This month, for the first time, voters could scrutinize campaign contribution records for half of the Presidential candidates on the Internet the same day they were released.

Electronic filing of these records, which made the speedy access possible, has been praised by public-interest groups that want to increase disclosure by candidates. But not all of the campaigns are participating. (continued).

July 23, 1999 -- Donors advised governor on HMOs
By Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press

Nearly all of a group of business and labor leaders invited to meet with Gov. Gray Davis behind closed doors this week to advise him on HMO oversight are Davis campaign donors, an Associated Press review found.

Patients, doctors and consumer activists were not included in the invitation-only meeting, convened by Davis to help him plow through dozens of bills that would change the state's oversight of managed-care plans. He has said he will sign only a handful of the proposals. (continued)

June 13, 1999 -- High-stakes in San Pablo casino deal
By Emelyn Rodriguez, Oakland Tribune

A struggling Moroccan-style casino in San Pablo is at the heart of a legislative effort to steer around portions of a state law designed to regulate and control gambling. If the effort succeeds -- and so far, the complicated bill has sailed virtually unopposed through the Senate -- critics say it could expand gambling in California.

A major driving force behind the effort is the owner of the casino, Ladbroke Group PLC, a global gambling and hotel giant. The company gives generous contributions to the campaigns of key political players -- including $50,000 last year to State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who enforces state gambling rules and, as a former legislator, wrote the very law the company wants changed. (continued)

May 20, 1999 -- Online Campaign Donations Take Center Stage
By Jim Puzzanghera, San Jose Mercury News

Federal elections officials are poised to fully open the Internet to presidential campaign fundraising today, making online credit-card contributions eligible for matching funds.

The move, stemming from a request by former Sen. Bill Bradley's campaign, could help underdogs like him compete in the increasingly big-bucks world of presidential politics, experts said. It also would signal the Internet's arrival as a political fundraising tool that soon could rival direct-mail and glitzy dinners. (continued)

April 30, 1999 -- Californians' Interest in Government Plunges
By Steve Geisinger, Associated Press

While special-interest groups are more interested in state government than ever, a new poll shows Californians are paying even less attention to politics than they did in the 1980s.

Only 40 percent of adults say they keep track of government and public affairs "most of the time," compared with 50 percent in 1983, the last time the Field Institute surveyed on the topic. (continued)

March 19, 1999 -- The California Voter Foundation is a Proud Winner of the 1999 Webby Award!

This prestigious award, hailed as the "Oscar of the Internet" was awarded to 24 web sites in a variety of categories, such as travel, fashion, news and art. CVF's web site,, won in the Politics and Law category...(continued) (Acceptance Speech by Kim Alexander)

March 18, 1999 -- California Takes Up Issue of Online Voting
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

In the first state-level effort to study the feasibility of an Internet voting system, California's Secretary of State convened a task force on Wednesday to examine the issues involved with casting ballots online.

Secretary Bill Jones opened the group's first meeting by telling the panel of two dozen technologists, political scientists and election officials: "Technology and people's expectations are going to force us to deal with these issues. The rest of the country expects California to lead on this." (continued)

March 16, 1999 -- Presidential Candidates Plug Into Internet
By Thomas Ferraro, Reuters

Though Vice President Al Gore claimed credit for helping invent the Internet, he will be among the last White House candidates to plug into it. Most of the dozen presidential aspirants already have their own Web sites, but Gore's campaign office said Tuesday it will not be online until at least next week.

Earlier Tuesday, publisher Steve Forbes, a Republican, became the first person to ever announce his candidacy on his own Web site. (continued)

March 16, 1999 -- Campaigning on the Net
By Elizabeth Arnold, National Public Radio

On March 16th, Steve Forbes announced his candidacy for President on his web site (, and in light of this announcement, NPR's Morning Edition featured a report by Elizabeth Arnold on how politicians are using the Internet as part of their campaigns. The report includes comments by CVF President Kim Alexander, and also focuses on how Jesse Ventura relied on the Internet for his successful gubernatorial campaign in Minnesota. Tune in with RealAudio at:

March 14, 1999 -- Financial, personal connections raise questions in Davis appointments
By Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press

While Terry M. Giles' four-page resume lists one success after another in law and business, there is no trace of environmental experience. Giles himself says his backgroundis not particularly "green."

Even so, Gov. Gray Davis has named Giles to the powerful governing body created by Congress to halt environmental deterioration in the Lake Tahoe region. (continued)

March 2, 1999 -- Seven Local Elections Canceled
By Kim Alexander, for the California Report

Today is election day in many California cities. But voters in seven southern California cities won't be going to the polls today. That's because their local elections were canceled due to a lack of competition. The cities of Lakewood, Beverly Hills, Hidden Hills, San Gabriel, City of Industry, Monrovia, and Rolling Hills had originally scheduled municipal elections for March 2, but canceled because no candidates stepped forward to challenge city council incumbents.

State law allows cities to cancel elections when there is a lack of competition as a way to save money. Some observers cited voter apathy, the high cost of running for office, and a general contentment with the status quo as prime reasons for the canceled elections. But there's more to it than that. (continued)

March, 1999 -- Kim Alexander and the California Voter Foundation
By Max Vanzi, for the California Journal

From humble beginnings, the California Voter Foundation has grown into an important political enterprise thanks to the drive and good-government instincts of its guiding spirit -- a 33-year-old woman who already has spent more than 15 years in and around California politics.

By the time she and her future board chairman met for the first time, Kim Alexander had single-handedly thrown some bold new light into the darker corners of state politics and electioneering. (continued)

February 25, 1999 -- High-Tech Entrepreneurs Dive into California Politics
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

Last November, Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, announced a political campaign with a high-tech twist: His so-called "cyber-initiative" for school choice in California would rely on the Internet to collect signatures.

In a press release promoting the initiative, Draper, managing director of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, pledged that "the use of the Internet and electronic signatures will show how the people's voice and technology can be used in a positive way to create change."

Despite Draper's enthusiasm, his plan to use the Internet to collect half a million signatures has run up against political reality: Digital signatures are not legal on California petitions. In fact, even though the technology exists, it could take years to build the political consensus to establish such a system. (continued)

February 9, 1999 -- Record Chesbro-Jordan spending; candidates' expenses totaled $6.4 million
By James W. Sweeney, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The state Senate contest between Wes Chesbro and John Jordan shattered California spending records, according to a final accounting of campaign expenses that shows combined expenditures of more than $6.4 million.

Jordan, the heir to a natural gas and wine fortune, made loans and contributions totaling more than $2.6 million of his own money in a losing cause. Family members chipped in another $575,000. (continued)

February 5, 1999 -- Internet may reshape California ballot initiatives
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

These days, Californians are hard-pressed to enter a grocery store without hearing the cry, "Sir! Ma'am! Can I get your signature? Are you registered to vote?" Shoppers are regularly accosted by signature collectors, aggressive pitchmen who get paid by the name. They are the by-product of a high-priced ballot initiative system that has outgrown its intent to defeat the influence of special interests in politics.

Now, if high-tech political activists have their way, these sidewalk hawkers may eventually be replaced by the Internet as a means to collect the hundreds of thousands of signatures required to get a measure on the California ballot. (continued)

January 25, 1999 -- Do S.F. mayor funds skirt laws? Willie Brown raises millions for gifts, junkets, activities
By Erin McCormick, San Francisco Examiner

Mayor Willie Brown, perhaps the most astute political fund-raiser in California history, has found a multimillion-dollar way around the tough disclosure laws governing public life in San Francisco and the state.

Three nonprofits set up to fund mayoral junkets to foreign cities, gifts and events have been collecting money from secret donors at a rate of $3.5 million a year, according to reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service covering parts of 1997. (continued)

January 14, 1998 -- A New Guard Emerges: Savvy, pragmatic young leaders are reshaping the non-profit world
Chronicle of Philanthropy

A new guard of non-profit leaders is emerging that will shape the charity world in the next century. This latest crop of leaders looks distinctly different from those of previous decades. Many have come to the non-profit world after holding government or corporate jobs. A high number have graduated from Ivy League colleges.

In general, these new leaders gravitate toward solving local problems rather than striving to change national policies. Yet they want to do more than simply provide meals or shelter to people in need. They seek new ways to blend non-profit, government, and corporate work that will generate quick, quantifiable improvements to problems. (continued).

Profiled in "Leading the Way": CVF's Kim Alexander, 33. (continued).

January 5, 1999 -- A Message From the Governor Breeds Political Email Debate
By Jamie Murphy and Stephen C. MacDowell, Wall Street Journal Interactive

Last Halloween, Bob Bownes, an official with NeWorks Networking Inc., a New York network-management firm, received an e-mail message with a puzzling subject line: "A message from Governor Lawton Chiles."

Why was the governor of Florida apparently sending him e-mail?

Mr. Bownes opened the message, thinking it might have something to do with his previous work with the Florida Internet Service Providers' Association. It didn't: The e-mail was a plea that Mr. Bownes vote for Lt. Governor Buddy MacKay in Florida's upcoming governor's race against Republican Jed Bush. (continued)

December 29, 1998 -- Nothing open to public for Davis inauguration
By Zachary Coile, San Francisco Examiner

Members of the public hoping to witness Gov.-elect Gray Davis' inauguration, be warned: Your best bet to see California's 37th governor sworn in will be on C-SPAN.

If you don't have tickets yet for any of the eight major Gray Davis inaugural events starting this weekend, you're out of luck. For one thing, the events are sold out. For another, all the events are by invitation only. (continued)

November, 1998 -- It's the Net, Stupid!
By Kim Alexander, for Wired Magazine

"How many votes do I get because I maintain an updated Web site?" Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) asks during a sparsely attended photo op in San Francisco's South of Market district. "I can't tell you."

The online release of Kenneth Starr's report may have been a milestone for the Net, but on the campaign trail, Boxer's answer typifies the uncertainty of many politicians who are poking around on the Internet in search of a viable online constituency. (continued)

October 26, 1998 -- Tech's elite pony up
By Corey Grice, CNET

Political contributions by the technology elite are on the rise, another sign that Silicon Valley is waking up to the world of politics.

High-tech heavyweights are climbing the political contribution ladder, according to a new report compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics and published by Mother Jones magazine.

The list details the country's top 400 political contributors, who gave a combined $36 million in individual contributions, political action committee funds, and soft money--money given to political parties for "party building"--between January 1, 1997 and June 30, 1998. (continued)

October 19, 1998 -- Internet matures as voter resource, but political impact is a relative mystery
By Dana Wilkie, Copley News Service

On days when it seems Trudell Een is a lonely missionary -- peddling her religion of Web links and mouse clicks -- appreciative letters from people like Denise Lanning make it all worthwhile.

Lanning is a Riverside mom whose son just turned voting age. She wanted to know more about this year's candidates. Her son wanted to know more about how to cast a ballot. So the two fired up their PC, got on the Internet and typed this: (continued)

October 19, 1998 -- Every vote counts
By Bob Kolasky, Intellectual

Ballot initiatives are not simply the domain of the political right. This year in Massachusetts and Arizona, voters are considering campaign-reform proposals. Medical marijuana is on the ballot in Washington, D.C., and Colorado. In California, movie director Rob Reiner is leading a charge for a cigarette tax.

Perhaps a more accurate description is that ballot initiatives are the domain of those who cannot stand the invariable compromise of politicians that dominates many legislative bodies. (continued)

October 17, 1998 -- Politicians set their sites on the web
By William Booth, Washington Post Staff Writer

Last Thursday afternoon, Rob Patton, director of technical operations for the Barbara Boxer Senate campaign, sat down at his keyboard and sent an e-mail message to 3,000 supporters across the country, alerting them that Republican challenger Matt Fong would be appearing that evening online at a virtual town hall meeting hosted by NBC's affiliate here. "Please stop in and let him knw your opinions," he wrote to Boxer's wired troops. And this they did.

Whatever else this "historic chat" accomplished, it was a filcker of the possible future of the virtual politics promised by the revolutionary power of the Internet. (continued)

October 17, 1998 -- County donors pass on governor campaigns
By Timm Herdt, Ventura County Star

If you've wondered why the candidates for governor haven't spent much time in Ventura County in this campaign, one good reason is that the money trail doesn't pass this way.

That's one revelation to be gleaned from the most comprehensive campaign-finance information ever to be made available in the state -- an Internet database that went online this week, sponsored by the California Voter Foundation in partnership with Compaq's Network Systems Lab in Palo Alto. (continued)

October 15, 1998 -- Campaign finance data posted on new web site
By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

California voters now have a way to "follow the money" behind candidates for statewide office and ballot measures on the Internet.

The 1998 California Campaign Contribution Database, launched Wednesday, is the joint project of the non-profit California Voter Foundation and Compaq Computer Corp.'s Network Systems Laboratory in Palo Alto. It increased the amount of information already provided by the secretary of state's own campaign finance data web site, which went online last week.

"There's no better way for voters to make informed choices than to find out who's funding a candidate or measure," Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, said of the CVF site. (continued)

October 8, 1998 -- Political sites explode on the Internet
By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

Judi Koeper is a registered Republican and Roman Catholic, but she's planning to vote for Gray Davis for governor because he is pro-choice and Dan Lungren is not. "I don't like his opinions, and I get angry," the Mountain View technical writer said of Lungren. "I didn't even visit his Web site."

William Belport is "biased against mainstream politics" and often visits Web sites devoted to Green Party candidates and their issues. "It's empowering because I can go to a site of my choosing rather than having it fed to me by somebody else, like television or mailings," the Palo Alto legal assistant said. (continued)

October 8, 1998 -- Silicon Valley voters may find these Web sites useful
By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

At least three new political Web sites debuted on the Internet this week, all of which may be of assistance to Silicon Valley voters on Nov. 3.

Launched Monday, the Institute for Silicon Valley Public Affairs' Digital Democracy site caters to residents of Silicon Valley. Founded by 23-year-old Santa Clara resident Jed Stremel, the site includes more than 200 pages of written analysis, almost 40 multimedia presentations and an interactive video debate involving 12 Silicon Valley candidates running for Congress and the state Assembly. (continued)

October 6, 1998, 10pm ET -- The :30 Second Candidate: An adventure into the world of political advertising
A PBS documentary broadcast

The 30-Second Candidate traces the history of the political TV ad, from its beginning during the 1952 presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower through the last presidential campaign of 1996. The documentary explores the evolution of this political art form, its growth and some possible options for reform. (continued)

October 2, 1998 -- Tech industry's chance to be a good citizen
By Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News Technology Columnist

Some light will shine into the swamp of campaign finance beginning Monday, when California voters will be able to fire up their Web browsers and discover who's trying to buy whom, and for how much, in statewide political campaigns.

Technology has given us this valuable, timely window into the fortress of corruption that passes for politics today. Now let's use technology to batter down the fortress walls.

This is a job made to order for the wealthiest industry on the planet. And if the technology crowd could be prevailed upon to show some real civic-mindedness -- beyond bludgeoning Congress to curb shareholder lawsuits and to raise visa limits for foreign workers -- California's early experiments in campaign candor could be a powerful model for the nation. (continued)

October 2, 1998 -- Campaign finance data will go online Monday
By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

The brave new world of online campaign finance reporting begins Monday in California, when voters will get unprecedented electronic access to information on how big, and little, money is flowing to statewide candidates and ballot propositions.

"This Monday will be a landmark day in the history of campaign finance reform," Secretary of State Bill Jones said Thursday during a visit to Silicon Valley. "From the comfort of their own homes," he said, "voters will finally have access to the names of the contributors who fund the 30-second sound bites on TV." (continued)

October 1, 1998 -- Is the Internet changing California politics?
By Justine Kavanaugh-Brown, California Computer News

The Internet is not only allowing voters to become more informed, it's actually beginning to change some political processes for the better.

With the election less than 30 days away, we're now deep in the midst of campaign frenzy. For months now we've seen the commercials, heard the radio announcements and watched the political mud being slung about. But lately it seems something is changing on the political landscape. Without a doubt, some of that change can be attributed to the Internet. (continued)

September 21, 1998 -- Free ads give spot of hope to campaign-reform backers
By Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News

A San Diego area cable television company will make political history today when it begins broadcasting 30-second political ads at absolutely no cost to the candidates.

The nominees for U.S. Senate -- incumbent Barbara Boxer and challenger Matt Fong -- were surprised and pleased by the free offer from cable magnate Bill Daniels.

But for Daniels, the forfeiture of almost $90,000 in ad revenues from the two candidates and those running in three other congressional races is worth every penny. Like a growing number of Americans, the cable pioneer is worried that the exorbitant cost of campaigns is threatening U.S. democracy. (continued)

September 10, 1998 -- Making of an e-celebrity
By Steve Scott, for Intellectual Capital

Anyone who has ever kept pace with political spending in California knows the drill. Trundle over to the nearest elections office, sit down with a list of candidates and campaigns, and slog through stack after stack of paper campaign reports, some for candidates, others for political action committees. In a state where campaign fund raising routinely tops a quarter-billion dollars every election cycle, it can be quite literally a mind-numbing task.

Six years ago, Kim Alexander was all too familiar with the drill. As a 20-something staffer for California Common Cause, Alexander's job was to compile and parse the paper blizzard in an effort to document the influence of money on the political process. But unlike the older boomer babies who populated do-gooder circles around that time, Alexander had an edge: She knew her way around a spreadsheet and a modem. (continued)

August 28, 1998 -- Many disgusted with California campaign
By Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press

Many Californians clearly were disgusted with the spring mudslinging melee in the gubernatorial primary. But it's not clear anyone's any happier now that the general election campaign has swung to the other extreme.

The campaign has become a dizzying dissertation on arcane legislative history, with leading candidates Dan Lungren and Gray Davis picking apart each other's record in the kind of excruciating detail that only two men who have spent a combined 41 years in public office could. (continued)

August 24, 1998 -- Simi, Moorpark candidates get message out on the Internet
By Dana Bartholomew, Ventura County Star

There are hokey avenues meandering through the Internet Web sites of local politicians.

Consider Simi Valley Councilwoman Sandi Webb's link to the Green Bay Packers. Or her Grandmother Vanderhoof's classic chicken 'n' dump-lings recipe (made with sweet milk), or tipsy cherry pie (made with half a cup of brandy).

Or how about Councilman Bill Davis's cartoons and music? (continued)

August 18, 1998 -- Cyber-tsunami boils the virtual water cooler
By Matt Beer, San Francisco Examiner

President Clinton's historic on-air mea culpa was followed by a historic on-line tidal wave of instant reaction.

News and "portal" Web sites like Yahoo logged a crushing record number of visits from Web users, who unleashed an outpouring of sound and fury that most agreed signified, well, not much. (continued)

August 17, 1998 -- The Internet and politics
By Larry Abramson, National Public Radio

In the latest in a series on how the Internet is changing society, NPR's Larry Abramson reports on how it is affecting politics. Many candidates have Websites, some more sophisticated than others. And advocacy groups make good use of the Internet, posting voter guides. Until now though, it's been hard to target specific groups of voters, such as property owners, retirees, or college students. But that is beginning to change and the Internet is likely to play a more important part of the political process. (continued)

August 16, 1998 -- Proposed five-minute debates have pros and cons for voters
By Dan Weintraub, Orange County Register

Dan Lungren and Gray Davis have been moaning all year that television news has all but ignored their race for governor, making it hard for them to get their messages across.

Now the two candidates are being given the chance to go beyond the 30-second commercials that cost them so much money but do so little to inform voters.

A national group trying to raise the level of political discourse is offering to sponsor eight televised "mini-debates" in September and October. (continued)

August 6, 1998 -- Campaign finance reports may be posted online quickly
By Mary Anne Ostrom, San Jose Mercury News

Pushing the reporting of campaign finances to the electronic frontier in California, Secretary of State Bill Jones on Wednesday urged all statewide and legislative candidates in November races to electronically submit reports. Jones promised he would post the information quickly on the Internet, for the first time giving the public free and broad access to the names of contributors and how much they give.

In a strongly worded statement, Jones said voters and the media should "vociferously encourage'' candidates to participate. He has given the campaigns until Aug. 21 to respond. (continued)

August 4, 1998 -- Readers split over suggested change in voting
By Sue Hutchison, San Jose Mercury News

Readers were divided over California Voter Foundation director Kim Alexander's suggestion that voters be allowed to vote "I Don't Know" on ballot propositions. Many thought this would send a long-overdue message to legislators, while others thought it would undermine the democratic process. (continued)

August 3, 1998 -- Nationwide, candidates spin the web
By John Martin,

Phil Noble predicts that before 1998 is over, some unsuspecting, well-entrenched elected official - probably from a university town or high-tech region - will be toppled from office by a young, under-funded challenger using the unlikeliest of political slingshots.

The Internet.

When that happens, says Noble, a Democratic consultant who has lectured about politics and the World Wide Web, online campaigns will finally establish themselves as indespensable electoral tools. (continued)

July 31, 1998 -- Lungren, Davis finally get some air time
By Timm Herdt, Ventura County Star

In May, the joke circulating in California political circles was that the only way the candidates for governor in the June primary could get television coverage would be to hold a debate on an L.A. freeway with a high-speed chase going by.

But the primary is over, the state's television industry has been heavily criticized for its paucity of political coverage in the spring, and there are growing signs that TV is going to become engaged in the fall campaign. (continued)

July 28, 1998 -- Ballot measures are all pops and buzzes to me
By Sue Hutchison, Columnist, San Jose Mercury News

Three months from now, conscientious voters will try to decipher a gizillion ballot initiatives in the November 1998 election guide, and they'll end up either drinking heavily or bursting into tears. Or both. That's what passes for the democratic process in California these days. We are expected to decide highly complex issues written in a dialect understood only by sadistic attorneys while we elect legislators to enact laws we end up having to make ourselves.

We're lousy with democracy in this state, and it's got to be stopped.

Certainly Kim Alexander thinks so. She's the director of the online California Voter Foundation in Sacramento. When the head of a non-partisan voter information clearinghouse based in the state capital thinks we have too much democracy, I think we can agree something has gone seriously wrong. (continued)

July 22, 1998 -- Bulk e-mail becomes the politician's tool
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times' Cybertimes

Every day, Jim Hodges sends e-mail to his supporters. It always starts with a countdown against his opponent, David Beasley, the Republican Governor of South Carolina. A recent mailing started like this:

"Wednesday, July 15, 1998 Days until David Beasley returns to Society Hill, SC: 112"

The message continued with these remarks: "After running one of the nation's worst public school systems, Governor David Beasley traveled to Iowa this week to preach about -- what else -- education. (continued)

July 15, 1998 -- Virtual campaigning
By Marian Currinder, Center for Responsive Politics

Minnesota gubernatorial contender Ted Mondale quietly made history last October when he became the first candidate to buy advertising space on the World Wide Web. His ad, which ran for three months, appeared on Checks and Balances, a Web site that covers Minnesota politics. Editor-in-Chief Shawn Towle says Mondale paid $100 per month. (continued)

July 9, 1998 -- City cuts Web link with councilman's page
By Susan Gembrowski, San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer

Officials here have disconnected the link between the city's World Wide Web site and the campaign Web site of a city councilman running for mayor.

Some residents, among them former Mayor Jim Rady, had complained that the link to Councilman Keith Beier's site was inappropriate.
"I would consider it irregular, and I also want to know how this was approved," Rady said yesterday.

Beier said he paid for the development and maintenance of his Web page and received approval from the city's computer specialists to link his site to Escondido's taxpayer-funded official page. (continued)

July 1, 1998 -- A New Kind of Party Animal: How the Young are Tearing up the American Political Landscape
Authored by Michele Mitchell, published by Simon & Schuster

June 2, 1998 -- Expanded election coverage
By Molly Wright Steenson, Wired News

While today's California primary offers up the first major event of the 1998 electoral season, it also ushers in a significant milestone: the first truly wired election.

With 80 percent of the state's candidates using Web sites to promote their campaigns, the Internet has become an integral tool in the campaigning process -- in both positive and potentially not-so-positive ways.

"Web sites have become a mainstay in political campaigns in California," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "Weâve watched them move from a novelty to a necessity." (continued)

June 2, 1998 -- Political consultant decides not to send bulk e-mail
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

In a move hailed as a step toward preserving political discourse on the Internet, a California political consultant has decided not to send unsolicited political e-mail messages to voters.

The consultant, Robert Barnes, said he changed his plans in response to negative feedback from the public and the concerns of the Democratic candidates who paid for positions on the slate. (continued)

June 1, 1998 -- Net a center for election info
By Courtney Macavinta, Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM

Online voting may still be a long way off, but a quick sweep of Net sites for tomorrow's elections show that digital democracy is definitely catching on.

Home to a high percentage of Net users, it's no surprise that California is leading the way in posting online real-time election results, extensive voter guides, and campaign contribution reports. And this year the state will hold its first open primary, meaning voters' plates are stacked with more issues and candidates to consider. This climate has inspired an array of sites dedicated to state's ballot. (continued)

May 27, 1998 -- Spam in California political race may backfire
By Rebecca Fairley Raney, New York Times Cybertimes

Sometime this week, in the final days before the California primary, a young political consultant is planning to e-mail half a million voters with political advertising promoting Democratic candidates.

This high-profile test of the Internet's political uses has brought praise from traditional campaign consultants who say political spam is inevitable and warnings from advocates of online politicking who say such mailings could destroy political discourse on the Internet. (continued)

May 25, 1998 -- Cyberspace getting crowded with candidates
By Ken Leiser, Copley News Service

SACRAMENTO -- Traditionally, political campaigns have taken to the mailbox, the airwaves and the telephone to reach out to voting Californians.

This year, a record number of candidates also are turning to the World Wide Web to pitch positions, raise money and, yes, trade barbs to an electorate increasingly dialed in to the Internet.

No longer the quirky domain of the techno-geek candidate, the customized campaign Web site is emerging as the political lawn sign of the future, some say.

"It has moved from novelty to necessity," said Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation. "A campaign would be crazy not to have a presence on the Internet. It doesn't cost very much. It is a great way to get your message out." (continued)

April 27, 1998 -- Candidates are using the Internet to plug into ...A WIRED ELECTORATE; Digital citizens' use of technology is having the Net effect of changing politics, bit by bit
Article by Philip Trounstine, Political Editor, San Jose Mercury News

Californians who are plugged into the Internet -- already more than four in 10 registered voters -- are enjoying an unprecedented explosion of information sources this year as cyber-technology helps to reshape the electoral process. (continued)

March 6, 1998 -- Big-time California politics moves to Net
Article by Craig Menefee for Newsbytes News Network

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1998 MAR 6 (NB) -- The nonprofit California Voter Foundation (CVF) says 60 percent of California's statewide candidates now have campaign sites on the World Wide Web, a major turnabout from previous elections. Also, of the five main ballot measures to be voted on in November, only one lacks a related Web site, the foundation says. (continued)

Februrary 24, 1998 -- Managing Director at the California Voter Foundation
Feature story in Hotwired's Dream Jobs, by Sarah Miles

"This is our first serious job announcement," admits Kim Alexander, the human hurricane behind the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit information service she invented four years ago with the modest goal of revolutionizing state politics. "We're about to enter a major growth period - we think we can be the PBS of the Internet." (continued)

February, 1998 -- The Tube, the Web and the Voter
By Jack Kavanaugh, for Political Pulse

It's no secret the television audience is shrinking. That not only worries television executives, it also has political implications. Television is, after all, the primary source of information for voters. So, what's the trend? And what does the trend mean? Ask Kim Alexander.

After working with Common Cause, Kim established the non-partisan CaliforniaVoter Foundation just as Internet technology began to emerge and spread.That was four years ago, now Kim is a recognized national expert on the role of the internet in politics. (continued)

October 15, 1997 -- Political reform the old-fashioned way
Column by Peter Schrag, Sacramento Bee

It's been a truism among political moralists that the only way to enact any significant reform is through voter initiatives. Indeed, some reformers think that probably the best reason for having the initative at all is to clean up the campaign and elections process. (continued)

October 15, 1997 -- Californians will gain easy, computerized access to political disclosure records
Editorial, San Jose Mercury News

t's about time.

After three years, the Legislature and Gov. Wilson have enacted a law that will shed digital sunlight on who gives what to whom in state campaigns.

Campaign financing is complex, but if SB 49 is put in place as envisioned, getting the information will be as easy as entering a query into a computer search engine. That's miles ahead of driving to Sacramento to thumb through thousands of paper files before making copies at a dime a page. (continued)

October, 1997 -- Campaign finance reform goes public -- Kim Alexander is leading a crusade to electrify the electorate
Article by Rob Riddell, The Web Magazine

ne day in 1976, when she was 11 years old, Kim Alexander's father baffled her. Richard Alexander was at home, in the midst of a reelection campaign as a Culver City, California city councilman when a man knocked on the door and offered him a $500 contribution. Her father turned the man away.

"I asked him why he said no to so much money," Alexander recalls. "He said, 'I don't know that man, I don't like him, and I don't want him to think I owe him anything.'"

Alexander turns her demanding blue eyes on me: "Can you imagine a candidate for state or federal office turning down a big contribution for any reason today?" (continued)

October 14, 1997 -- Electronic sunshine: Campaign disclosure on the Internet is a real reform
Editorial, Sacramento Bee

fter years of resistance, the California Legislature has finally approved and Gov. Pete Wilson has signed into law a bill to put campaign finance records on the Internet. The bill, SB 49, authored by Sen. Betty Karnette, is easily the most important political campaign reform of the decade.

...Kim Alexander, executive director of the California Voter Foundation, deserves special recognition. Under Alexander's leadership, the foundation has kept pressure on the Legislature and kept the disclosure issue alive. (continued)

October 12, 1997 -- California Governor signs bill to put campaign donations online
Article by Rebecca Fairly Raney, New York Times' Cybertimes

y the 2000 election, California voters will be able to go to the Internet, type in the names of candidates and find out who gave them money under a bill signed into law Saturday by Gov. Pete Wilson.

The electronic grapevine in California lit up this year with week-to-week updates about the status of the bill from the non-partisan, nonprofit California Voter Foundation. More than 700 people received the updates, including many reporters based outside Sacramento. (continued)

October 12, 1997 -- California campaign filings to go online
Article by Jeff Pelline, CNET News

ften prodded by campaign finance reform groups, lawmakers increasingly are agreeing to put the finance reports online.

"Thirteen state legislatures acted this year to move their state's political disclosure records into the digital sunlight," according to a report issued Friday by the California Voter Foundation. "In addition, 17 other states have mandatory or voluntary electronic filing and online disclosure systems in operation or in the works." (continued)

September, 1997 -- California Voter Foundation: 1997 SITE Award Winner
Best Educational Site, Sacramento News and Review

he California Voter Foundation has been publishing nonpartisan online voter guides since 1994, making it one of the first groups to ever put voter resources on the Web.

Cal Voter's most recent offering is a guide to Californiaâs Legislature, a guide to help people better understand and participate in the state lawmaking process...(continued)

August 31, 1997 -- Now you can keep tabs on lawmakers on the Web
Associated Press, reprinted in the Marin Independent Journal

Californians trying to figure out what their Legislature is doing as it deals with hundreds of bills in the frantic final two weeks have a new tool on the Internet.

The Internet Guide to California's Legislature is sponsored by the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tries to make state government information more available to the public, and the University of California at Davis. (continued)

May 29, 1997 -- Graft Online -- Interview with Kim Alexander
Article by Wyn Hilty, Orange County Weekly

Kim Alexander has a dream: one day, voters across the nation will be able to find out who owns their politicians with a few keystrokes.

Alexander heads the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit organization in Sacramento dedicated to promoting the cause of online campaign-finance disclosure. The group's efforts have won widespread media attention, including brief mention in the May issue of Wired magazine. (continued)

May, 1997 -- Private Eyes, Public Records
Wired Magazine, May 1997

ike a detective snapping photos of a cheating spouse, Kim Alexander doesn't ask permission to get the goods on public officials.

As head of the California Voter Foundation, a non-partisan group that uses technology to educate voters, Alexander is pushing for a law that would require political candidates, parties, and lobbying organizations to file electronic lists of campaign contributions. (continued)

April 12, 1997 -- Leaders try to nudge campaign finance reporting into computer age
By Mary Anne Ostrum, San Jose Mercury News

ACRAMENTO -- More than two decades ago, fed-up California voters said it was
time state candidates made public the sources of their campaign money. Voters got a
monumental paper-filing system requiring curious voters to make a trip to a government depository in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Sacramento.

On Monday, Secretary of State Bill Jones is launching a plan that finally begins moving California's campaign-information system into the electronic age. (continued)

March, 1997 -- Internet Guru:Voter Foundation attempts to inform surfers about elections, government
By Jennifer Kerr, Associated Press Writer

ACRAMENTO (AP) -- The political, computer and civic threads of Kim Alexander's life have come together - electronically and philosophically - in the voter education organization she has led from obscurity to cyberspace. Alexander directs the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making more and more information about politicians, their campaign contributions and state government easily available on the Internet. (continued)

March 12, 1997 -- FOI winners: Announcing the winners of the 12th annual James Madison Freedom of Information Awards
San Francisco Bay Guardian

HE STRUGGLE to protect the public's right to know is often a lonely one, and the heroes of that struggle are too often unrecognized. So every year the northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists takes time out to honor these unsung heroes. (continued)

February 24, 1997 -- Netting Crooked Politicians
By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Daily News

Kim Alexander traces her on-line crusade for ethical politics to a knock on her parents' front door.

She was only 11 at the time. A stranger asked to come inside and speak with her father, Richard, a Culver City councilman. The man talked to her father for a long time and eventually offered him a campaign contribution of $500. Cash. (continued)

October 30, 1996 -- Politics On-Line: The Best, The Worst, the Ugliest
By Mitchel Benson, The Wall Street Journal/California

Only two years ago, the California Voter Foundation dragged politicians kicking and screaming into the computer age when it posted on the Internet the biographies, endorsements and position papaers of 32 statewide candidates in the November elections.(continued)

August 7, 1996 -- Let's retire the quill pen
Editorial, Sacramento Bee

The Legislature is taking one more crack at something that ought to be the most straightforward and uncontroversial of issues (continued)

July 25, 1996 -- Does not compute: Why hasn't the information age caught up with the capitol?
By Nick Budnick, Sacramento News & Review

Politicians cannot be bought, as any politician will tell you. You may, however, be able to purchase some quality time with them... (continued)

February 17, 1996 -- Politicians Put Principles On The Line
By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News

Sixty-five non-incumbent candidates for the state Legislature and a quarter of sitting legislators have now signed a clean government pledge drafted by a San Jose-area civic group. (continued)

February 9, 1996 -- Only 1 Orange County lawmaker signs campaign pledge
By Daniel M. Weintraub, Orange County Register

Only one of Orange County's 11 state lawmakers has signed a citizen-drafted pledge committing legislators and candidates to obey the law, campaign cleanly and work to minimize the influence of money in politics. (continued)

February 4, 1996 -- Activist seeks greater public observation of public governance
By Daniel M. Weintraub, Orange County Register

Kim Alexander remembers fondly the time she helped pack the gallery with ordinary citizens for a Sunday-evening session of the state Assembly during a long and frustrating stalemate over the budget. (continued)

This page was first published on August 6, 1996 | Last updated on September 29, 2003
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