California voting issues

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This page is part of the Election Protection Wiki,
a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to collect reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity.

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Election and registration information

  • Disability Rights California is sponsoring a toll-free hotline for voters with disabilities who have difficulty accessing polling places, casting ballots or general questions about the voting process.

Disability Rights California’s hotline is equipped to receive voice and TDD calls, and will be staffed from 7 am to 8 pm on November 4th. The toll-free number for voice calls is: 800-776-5746. The toll-free number for TDD calls is: 800-719-5798. Individuals who speak languages other than English should state their language and an interpreter will be connected to the call. Callers who wish to use the California Relay Service, Speech to Speech Service or Video Relay can dial 711.[1]

Voting machines

2008 election

For the 2008 election California used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Voting's Verifier tool.

Main article: Voting machines

Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines with a paper trail:

Optical scan machines:

Assistive Devices for Marking Paper Ballots:

Governmental election authorities

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen

Contact Information:

  • California Secretary of State
  • 1500 11th Street
  • Sacramento, California 95814
  • General Information: (916) 653-6814

Elections Division:

  • Phone: (916) 657-2166
  • Fax: (916) 653-3214
  • TDD Only - No Charge To Calling Party: (800) 833-8683
  • Voter Fraud Hotline: (800) 345-8683 / (800) 345-VOTE

Election threats

  • Voters contend they were duped into registering as Republicans [2]

"It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to elections experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party -- a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states -- has been accused of using the tactic across the country. Elections officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM staff in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit"

  • The owner of Young Political Majors (YPM), a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year, was arrested in Ontario California on suspicion of voter registration fraud.[3]
  • "Video the vote" actions banned in Nevada County (not a "threat" per se, but mildly disturbing, given past election history in this county)

"...Nevada County Elections prohibits photography, videography, audio-recording or interviews in polling places unless they are conducted by credentialed media organizations who have received prior permission from the Registrar of Voters and who receives permission for their activities from every single person in the polling place,” [Clerk-Recorder Gregory ] Diaz wrote. [4]

Voting machine verification and security

  • For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.[5]

State and local non-governmental organizations

California Election Protection Network

Californians for Electoral Reform

  • Description: Californians for Election Reform (CfER) is a nonpartisan coalition of Californians who believe that all citizens deserve equal and satisfactory representation in government. The organization works to promote and implement voting methods that fulfill this right as much as possible. Their main reforms are instant runoff voting and proportional representation. In 2002 CFER supported a successful campaign for instant runoff voting in San Francisco, and it continues to support IRV and proportional voting in local and student elections across the state.[6]

Contact Information:

  • Mail: PO Box 128, Sacramento, CA 95812
  • Phone: 916-455-8021

League of Women Voters of California

LWV of California, Ms. Janis R. Hirohama, President

  • 1107 9th Street Suite #300
  • Sacramento, CA 95814
  • Phone: 916-442-7215
  • Fax: 916-442-7362
  • E-mail:

Local Leagues:

Voter Action's California Information

Description: a "State Action" page of the national Voter Action organization.

Articles and resources

See also


  1. Information is from Disability Rights California press release. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  2. "Voters contend they were duped into registering as Republicans," LA Times, October 17, 2008.
  3. <"Ontario police arrest man in voter fraud case," LA Times, October 20, 2008
  4. <"Concerns about coercion lead to video, photo ban at polls" The Union, October 27, 2008
  5. This past problem and description are from the VotersUnite! Election Problem Log. Click through for included links to origin of report.
  6. "About" page on the website of Californians for Electoral Reform. Retrieved Sept. 16, 2008.

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

Election law

External articles