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Voting by mail is easy, but not fool-proof. Check the requirements for submitting a valid ballot that's sure to be counted.
Today is the last day in California to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot to participate in next Tuesday's election.
Michael McDonald studies voter behavior at George Mason University in Virginia. He says it’s important to review your ballot before mailing it in to make sure you’ve provided some sort of ID.
“Mail balloting is a more complicated process than voting in person and many people fail to take that step," he says. "Their ballot then only counts provisionally until the voter can provide that identification. Many of those ballots go uncounted in the election because people aren’t aware.”
First-time absentee voters in California must send off ballots with either a valid driver's license number, the final four digits of their social security number, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck, according to the California Secretary of State's Office, if they have not previously verified their identities when registering to vote by mail.
From the Secretary of State's Office's website:
"In person" voters must show a "current and valid photo identification" or "a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter."
"Absentee voters" must submit with their ballot one of the documents listed above.
... The requirement only applies to voters who have never voted in the county in a federal election. Persons who were already registered as of January 1, 2003, or who change address within the county and re-register, are not required to show ID to vote.
Second, voters who do not register to vote "by mail" are not required to show ID to vote.
Third, Section 303(b)(3) states that if the voter provides his or her driver's license number, or the last 4 digits of his or her social security number, on the form to register to vote, and the elections official can verify the number is correct, then the ID requirement does not apply.
McDonald says election officials across the county threw out 400,000 absentee ballots during the last Presidential election because voters didn’t follow instructions.
Correction: An earlier version of this story didn't note that the identification requirements only applied to absentee voters voting in a federal election for the first time.
Whittier is a long way from the waves. But that’s where Ian Calderon grew up and that’s where the one-time state surfing champion is running for the California Assembly in a bid to extend a three-decade long political dynasty. The 27-year-old Democrat faces Noel Jaimes, 57, a rare Latino Republican looking to put a new face on the GOP.
As a kid, Calderon says he stayed out of trouble because he understood his actions reflected on his father, State Assemblyman Charles Calderon. Standing inside his own campaign headquarters, the political neophyte recalls being raised on the campaign trail.
“I can remember literally being in my father’s arms when he was giving speeches,” Calderon says. “We were always with him on stage.”
Calderon’s father – and political hero – was first elected to the state legislature in 1982. He's termed out now, and his son his hoping to inherit the seat – and extend his family's long presence in Sacramento. Ian's uncles are Ron Calderon, a state senator, and Tom Calderon, a former state assemblyman who lost a bid earlier this year to return to the legislature.
Reps. Laura Richardson, left, and Janice Hahn, right, will face each other in November in the race for Congress' 44th District.
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Today is Tuesday, Oct. 30, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
Democrats Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson are fighting it out in Congress' 44th District, a historically African-American seat, reports the Los Angeles Times. Because of redistricting the two incumbents were merged into the same district.
Laying off city attorneys to save the city money could turn out to be a costly move, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says, according to the Daily News. "The layoffs would cascade throughout the department creating a devastating effect on trial preparation and creating havoc," he told the Budget and Finance Committee.
No on Measure H website
The American Beverage Association has put $1.3 million into the campaign to oppose Measure H, a proposed penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks sold in the city of El Monte. This image is from a campaign video, depicting the charge that would be imposed on a gallon jug of sweetened juice drink.
The modest campaign for El Monte's Measure H, a proposal to add a penny-per-ounce tax to soda sales, is drowning in a deluge of ads paid for by the soft drink industry.
The American Beverage Association, which represents the soft drink industry, has spent some $1.3 million to oppose the tax issue the El Monte City Council placed on the Nov. 6 ballot in hopes of balancing the city budget and fund anti-crime and wellness program.
Mayor Andre Quintero said he expects more to be spent in the week remaining before the Nov. 6 election.
"They're spending it on everything," he said. "Every single imaginable tool you can imagine in a campaign arsenal, they have. They have paid walkers, paid callers, they've got a campaign manager, they've got billboards, signs, literature in the mail, polls, tracking polls."
Hurricane Sandy is even affecting the fight over California's Proposition 30.
A court hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday regarding the source of an $11 million dollar donation from an Arizona-based organization that is working to defeat Governor Jerry Brown's proposed tax hike.
California’s elections watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, wants the donors’ names to be revealed. But Virginia-based attorneys for Americans for Responsible Leadership — the Arizona non-profit behind the donation — said they couldn’t reach Sacramento in time for the hearing because of travel delays caused by the hurricane. The judge overseeing the case gave them an extra 28 hours.
The Arizona group made the donation to a California campaign seeking to defeat Prop 30 and pass Prop 32 — a ban on payroll deductions for political contributions.