California Counts

A collaboration between Capital Public Radio, KQED, KPCC and KPBS to cover the 2016 elections in California.

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In California, The November Election Starts Now


It’s more like “Election Month” in California than “Election Day.” Voting by mail reached nearly 60 percent in June, and county registrars begin mailing out ballots Monday.

If you’re a registered voter, you’ve likely already received the thick chunk of grey recycled paper the size of a phone book known as California’s voter information guide. It’s a record 224 pages, with quick summaries and deeper analyses of the 17 statewide ballot measures.

“For people who may look at 224 pages and think, I have nowhere near the time, that first section is probably the most helpful for most people,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla told Capital Public Radio in an interview that airs on Monday's Insight.

If you’re not a registered voter, the deadline to sign up is Monday, October 24th. Vote-by-mail ballot requests must arrive at your county’s elections office by Tuesday, November 1st – one week before Election Day.

Despite recent efforts from hackers to break into U.S. election systems, Padilla says the machines that scan and count California ballots are secure. 

“Those systems are disconnected from the internet,“ he says. “So it would be very, very difficult – if not impossible – for somebody to systematically hack or rig our elections.”

The Secretary of State's office says it has not detected any breaches or abnormal probes of its systems.

 Election 2016

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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