voter drops of ballot

More than 3 million Californians have already cast their ballots by mail — a state record. In this hour, we’ll talk about what the rising popularity of mail-in voting means for vote counting, turnout and campaign tactics. We’ll also preview big changes to voting in California that Governor Jerry Brown recently approved, aimed at making it easier to vote by mail and in-person.

Related Links:

Kim Alexander, president and founder, California Voter Foundation
Joe Canciamilla, county clerk, recorder and registrar of voters, Contra Costa County
Paul Mitchell, vice president, Political Data Inc.

  • Noelle

    Vote by mail ballots without sufficient postage will still be delivered and the post office will bill the county for the rest of the postage.

  • Terry

    Investigative journalist Greg Palast explained how electronic voting is easily rigged because there is a huge point of failure in the tallying of votes, which is done on spreadsheets on Windows computers behind closed doors and if the people who do that tallying are corrupt, or those PCs are infected with malware, a district tally can be skewed or wholly invented.

    He also discovered that in Florida provisional ballots are literally thrown into the trash, because his team did the dumpster diving to find them.

    • Robert Thomas

      It’s about ten million times more likely that one’s paternity is rigged because one’s mother was corrupt.

      Paranoia also leads a handful of kooks to imagine that the custodianship of paper ballots themselves is unreliable.

      However, electronic means are employed to scan and tally paper ballots and tampering there is not impossible. Should a precinct’s ballots show signs of tampering or other strange aspect (physical interference; total votes for major office not equal or closely equal to number of ballots etc.), recount with different tallying machines is routinely employed – as they are for a representative sample of precincts in regular course as a security check, and when votes for an office or a measure are close. In the vast majority of precincts in all of the states, the opportunity for vote “rigging” is infinitesimal.

  • Kevin Cooney

    I get my ballot by mail but drop it off on voting day. Is my ballot less likely to be rejected than a ballot mailed in with correct postage?

  • Ramona

    Can the guests please explain who new voter registrations and change of address registrations are processed. Are they verified by DMV, SS number or county birth records. There is no information available on this process. Little to no federal information. Also I recieved a change of address registration card that had no information about my VBM status on the card. I went to the SM County office to vote in person and after some wait I was given a VBM ballot. I submitted it and then 1 week later I recieved another ballot in the mail at my home. Do i need to turn this ballot in to the office?

  • Kay

    If a ballot will not be counted for whatever reason, is there way to know? Can the person then cast their ballot on election day? Can I drop off a mail-in ballot early?

  • pm05

    I vote by mail and in my county I can go online and check that my ballot was received, my signature verified, and the ballot was sent for counting – Arizona. Is this possible in California?

    • William – SF

      Refer to KQED election guide link above. Short answer is mostly yes, but may depend on county.

  • Robert Thomas

    My habit is to vote at my polling place as I ddi thirty years ago, since my polling place is only a couple of hundred yards away from my home and generally well appointed with personnel and booths for efficient voting.

    However, my county now uses large paper ballot cards that make voting in the small cardboard booth clumsy. There is insufficient space in the voting booth to easily accommodate the ballot laid flat AND a sample ballot that I use to quickly complete the process.

    I long for the efficient and easy-to-use “book-style” “punch” voting cards of my youth, that worked just FINE, before the stupid Florida “chad” problems made these simple voting machines unpopular. My father explained to me how to inspect my punched ballot for incomplete punches and so forth. That took him about thirty seconds. That technology worked great.

    • William – SF

      Yup. Gave up voting at booth for just that reason and miss the satisfaction of going out to vote. Voting by mail is …lonely. Florida!

  • Chi

    If I accidentally marked the wrong choice, or marked a choice and now wish to abstain on my mail-in ballot, is there any way to fix it?

  • Jojo Fatale

    I’m not sure how I originally signed my voter registration many years ago. With or without middle initial, etc. How can I ssee my original signature or submit a new one?

  • jurgispilis

    The Constitution, in it’s original form, said nothing about who could vote, or how that would be done. It only specified the date of our annual Election Day. It was left to the states to decide the qualifications to be a voter. I mean, if you couldn’t read, how could you possibly read a ballot, anyway.
    The concept of any right to vote came much later – through legislation.

    But today, as voter, I still can’t read or understand 2/3rds of my ballot. Because it’s written in foreign languages!! Why do we test new citizens on their English language skills if we never call on them to use them?
    Besides, everyone who knows a foreign language, knows that things, concepts, ideas are expressed differently – and it’s not merely different words. It’s confusing enough putting contorted legalese into English, but translating that same legalese into other languages, only makes the sense more confusing. We have come far, but we haven’t made any progress.

  • johnqeniac

    Mitchell and his company are nefarious parasites on the legitimate election system. He sells public data that should be kept private and accessible only to the each voter. The only reason to buy that data is to subvert an honest vote, produce disgusting gerrymandered districts that make legitimate democracy impossible, etc. He’s a pig. Shame on him!


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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