Category Archives: 2008 Presidential Race

A peek at early voting in L.A. with Kirsten Dunst

Jacob Soboroff from Why Tuesday? went with actress Kirsten Dunst to the Los Angeles County Registrars office, video camera in hand, and cast their ballots two weeks before election day.

As you can see from the video, the Registars office is already crazy busy with citizens eager to vote early. Is this an early sign that the polls will be jammed on election, that Los Angeles desperately needs more than one early voting location, or both?

The Why Tuesday? Foundation seeks solutions to increase voter participation by creating dialogue about  election systems currently in place and changes that could be made, in part by asking why we vote on Tuesday instead of, say, over the weekend. Read more about them here.

Speaking of, the LA County Registrar’s office is now open 7 days per week through election day, so you can vote over the weekend. And this Saturday, the California Obama staff will be holding an “early vote rally” at the Registrar’s office from 9am – 4pm. More info on the Facebook event page.

Prop 8 backers looking forward to high pro-Obama turnout.

California Prop 8 backers look forward to large pro-Obama turnoutPresidential candidate Barack Obama has expressed his opposition to Proposition 8, California’s proposed ban on gay marriage. But the people behind proposition are counting on Obama supporters to seal win for Prop 8… what gives?

Farhad Manjoo at Slate explains:

The Democrat is expected to bring a surge of black and Latino voters to the polls on Election Day. This spells trouble for gay marriage; in some surveys, minority voters have expressed much greater support for banning same-sex marriage than have whites. Chip White, a spokesman for the pro-Proposition 8 campaign, stopped short of saying that Obama’s presence on the ballot will help the measure. But he did point out that the campaign plans a big push in minority communities, especially through churches and other religious networks. “Traditional marriage initiatives have historically been supported by African-Americans,” he says. “We think this one will be no different.”

While this indicates some gloom for gay marriage proponents, some campaign finance details may indicate otherwise.

Stats released by the Nielsen Company showed that the “Young Digerati” segment of the US population were the largest donors to the Obama campaign, with over 80% of their support going to the Democrat. This segment, described as “comprised of affluent, highly educated, ethnically mixed and tech-savvy residents of fashionable urban fringe neighborhoods,” likely consists of employees for companies such as Apple and Microsoft who, at least in California, appear to overwhelmingly favor voting no on Proposition 8. As mentioned last week, $32,322 was raised to oppose Prop 8 between the folks at Mac and PC, while other employees at those companies only gave $6,695 in support of the proposition.

GOP voter registration fraud and ACORN alive and well in California

california voter registration formThe head of a voter registration firm used by the GOP was arrested this weekend following accusations that the firm of tricked thousands of California voters to switch to the Republican party.

Mark Jacoby of the Young Political Majors, or YPM, was charged with voter fraud by registering to vote in 2006 and 2007 in Los Angeles, where he was not a resident, allegedly to meet requirements to gather signatures.

Also of note, as mentioned last week on California Faultline, in 2006 another GOP backed voter registration drive was also accused of fraud.

ACORN’s California registration efforts focused in San Diego

The more infamous voter registration group, ACORN, has also been busy in Southern California.

Of the 39,600 voters ACORN has registered in California, 24,644 have been in San Diego. The embattled group’s state spokesman, Amy Schur, told the San Diego Union Tribune that the focus was there because, “We saw a high percentage of people who were eligible to vote.”

The Union Tribune reports that 17.6 percent of registrations ACORN turned in to local elections offices “were red-flagged for incomplete or invalid information, such as missing signatures or birthdays,” although after review only 7% were considered invalid.

The most alarming figure was that out of 200 local short term employees ACORN hired and trained for their voter registration drive, 75 were fired after it was discovered they had submitted inaccurate registration cards.

Neither the FBI or the Secretary of State’s office would offer comment to the Union Tribune if they were investigating ACORN in San Diego.

The good news for California’s voting integrity

While voter registration drives in California appear to be ripe for bi-partisan fraud, Reuters reports that even with our ink and paper ballots, our voting system may be the best in the nation:

California is deemed the best prepared of the 50 U.S. states for election system problems this year, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and voting watchdog groups.

photo by Andy Sternberg, used under a Creative Commons license…

California voter registration deadline is Monday

Over a dozen businesses will be open late Monday to accept last minute voter registrations.

Over a dozen businesses will be open late on Monday to accept last minute voter registrations.

If you’d like to vote on whether or not gay marriage should be banned, if minors should be required to provide parental notification before an abortion, not to mention who should be our next President, you have until Monday to register.

Whether you’re on the fence about any of these issues, or don’t feel you have the time to register, there is little excuse not to with the numerous options available:

1. Print and mail out your voter registration form. Just make sure it’s postmarked my Monday!

2. You can also pick up a registration form from over a 1000 locations around Los Angeles, such as your local DMV, library, or post office. Post office? Heck, you could go in, fill it out there, then mail it right away assuring you’ll have it postmarked by the 20th! Continue reading

California GOP distances itself from leaders Obama smears twice in as many days

image from Sacramento County Republican Party via Wired.com

image from Sacramento County Republican Party via Wired.com

On the day of the final Presidential debate, the leaders of two different GOP offices at opposite ends of California were forced to retract and apologize for smears and overtly racist material issued by their campaigns.

Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated of the Inland Empire had sent out a newsletter with a mock foodstamp depicting Barack Obama surround by images of watermelon and fried chicken. Diane Fedele told the Press Enterprise on Tuesday that her intent was to point out the “outragousness” of a statement Obama had made this summer that “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.” She said she didn’t mean to offend anyone, and would be mailing out an apology.

And also on Tuesday, after a call from the state Republican Party, the Sacramento County Republican Party removed an image from its website calling for Obama to be waterboarded, along with another comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden.

California GOP experiencing deja vu with ACORN controversy

While John McCain supporters attempt to draw connections between Barack Obama and ACORN in the wake of the thousands of bogus voter registrations submitted by the organization, California Republicans have failed to remind the media that just two years ago a group the San Bernadino GOP hired to register voters was also investigated for fraud.

From the March 7th, 2006 Los Angeles Times:

County voting officials said they found problems with many of the nearly 3,000 registration forms submitted by the company, including 1,800 that lacked voters’ driver’s license numbers or other official forms of identification, which were required by a state law this year.

The district attorney’s office is also investigating whether the same political firm, John Burkett Petition Management of Riverside, was responsible for the large number of signatures declared invalid in a recent petition drive in Rialto, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Frank Vanella.

The firm was being paid up to $6 for each voter who they could register as a Republican. Continue reading

L.A.’s only early voting location is…

Los Angeles residents have two options to vote early in California: apply for an absentee mail-in ballot, or march on over to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office in Norwalk.

Starting today, voters can fill out a ballot at 12400 Imperial Highway for the November 4th election.

Early touch screen voting was available at a number of L.A. locations countywide as as recently as the 2006 locations, but the machines were determined to be “challenged” and their use discontinued.

To find other early voting locations in California and the other 30 states where it’s allowed, visit Declare Yourself.

UPDATE: Additional details regarding hours, including weekends:

Weekdays:
Mon-Fri, October 6th – November 3rd
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Weekends:
Sat/Sun, October 25th & 26th, and November 1st & 2nd
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM