Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mail ballots

Voters urged to drop off ballots, not use the mail, after Friday

In order to ensure that ballots reach elections officials in time to be counted on Election Day, voters should not return their ballots by mail after Friday (Oct. 29).

After Friday, voters are encouraged to return their ballots to drop-off boxes in city clerks’ offices and county libraries through Monday (Nov. 1) or at any polling place in the county on Election Day (Nov. 2). A link to the location of the drop-off boxes is available on the Registrar of Voters website,

Ballots also can be deposited in the 24-hour drop box outside the front entrance to Registrar of Voters office at 2724 Gateway Drive in Riverside.

Ballots must reach the registrar by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Ballots with postmarks before the deadline are not accepted and cannot be counted if they reach the registrar’s office after the 8 p.m. deadline on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday (Oct. 27), more than 405,000 vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to voters and almost 143,148 (slightly more than one-third of requested mail ballots and almost one-sixth of total county registered voters) had been returned. Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore on Thursday encouraged every eligible voter to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s general election.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

mail in voting

As of this afternoon,

The number of Vote-by-Mail ballots that have been sent to voters as of 10/26/2010: 399,137

The number of ballots that have been returned from voters as of 10/26/2010: 113,372

That's more than a quarter of the requests and nearly 13 percent of total registered county voters have already voted, one week before Election Day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Election Polls

This week the Public Policy Institute of California released its latest poll on the upcoming November 2 election.

PPIC surveyed 2,002 adult state residents. including 200 interviewed via cell phones.

The PPIC results found the Democratic candidates ahead. Attorney General Jerry Brown with 44 percent of likely voters had an eight percent advantage over the Republican candidate, Meg Whitman.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer led her challenger, Republican Carly Fiorina by five percent, 43 to 38.

Both Democrats improved from their September levels.

Nearly 87 percent of the respondents believe the state is in some form of a recession. And 54 percent believe it is very serious. Twenty-eight percent of respondents are very concerned that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year.

Among likely voters, 48 percnet believe Whitman would do a better job dealing with the state budget and taxes, while 40 percent think Brown is better able to grapple with these issues.

When asked about jobs and the economy, 47 percnet of the respondents felt Whitman had the capability to deal with these issues the best, while 39 percent felt Brown was better.

PPIC also asked about several of the Propositions.

Proposition 19, making small amount of marijuana legal, was now trailing, the “no” votes were 49 percent of likely voters and “yes” 44 percent, while seven percent didn’t know how they would vote.

More than half of the respondents thought the Proposition 19 result was very important to them.

Proposition 23 which would authorization suspension the state’s climate control laws is trailing also, 48 percent opposed and 37 percent for, but the number of “don’t know” is higher, 15 percent.

Proposition 24, which repeals several recently authorized business tax provisions, trails, 38 percent to 31, and a whooping 31 percent responded “don’t know.”

Proposition 25, which reduces the requirement of 2/3 of the legislature voting for a new budget to a simple majority, bucks the trend. Forty-nine pecent of likely voters support, 34 percent oppose it and 17 percent “don’t know.”

Here are some interesting results from the same poll. Almost 60 percent of the respondents believe the state initiative process produces better public policy decisions than the governor or state legislative. But more than 80 percent think the initiative process could use changes. Fifty-two percent actually believe major changes are needed.

HUSD campaign funds

Incumbent Trustee Bill Sanborn can run a low key re-elecion campaign, he is unopposed. But Paul Bakkom and Phyliss Petri are facing off in Anza and nearby communities.

In Hemet, there are four candidates. Incumbent Joe Wojcik and three challengers — Horacio “Ross” Valenzuela, retired educator and librarian, Jim Little, retired school employee, and Jayson D. Sandoval, motor vehicle representative.

The Hemet Teachers’ Association is backing Wojcik, Valenzuela and Bakkom.

So far only Wojcik and Valenzuela have filed any campaign finance reports with the Riverside County Register of Voters Office. These reports are on-line at

But here’s a summary what these two candidates have reported:

Total contributions Total expenses Cash on-hand

Wojcik $13,184.28 $15,877.33

Valenzuela $2,185 $1,269.85 $915.15

Wojcik’s contributions include a $10,000 personal loan to his campaign. About 2/3 of Valenzuela’s funds come from the Political Action Committees of the district’s teachers and classified employees. Another $400, seems to have been family gifts.

Vote by Mail

According to the Register of Voters, the number of Vote-by-Mail ballots that have been sent to voters as of 10/21/2010: 392,359

Total county registration, as of 9/3/2010 was 827,830. Nearly 47 percent of registered voters requested mail ballots.

The number of ballots that have been returned from voters as of 10/21/2010: 42,421

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mail voting popular

October 18, 2010
Riverside County

Vote-by-mail requests for Nov. 2 election set record in Riverside County

More than 45 percent of the county’s registered voters [as of Oct. 19, 383,890 ballots have been mailed to county voters and 27,806 already returned] have asked to vote by mail in the upcoming Nov. 2 general election, surpassing the record number of requests for the 2008 presidential election. An application to vote by mail is on the back of voters’ sample ballot booklet.

“I urge every eligible voter to cast their ballot and exercise our nation’s most important right,” Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore said.

The Registrar of Voters must receive any request for a vote-by-mail ballot by Oct. 26. Voters whose requests don’t reach the Registrar’s office by the deadline will not receive a vote-by-mail ballot and should vote at their polling place or at the Registrar’s office on Election Day.
The Registrar’s office has added temporary staff to begin processing vote-by-mail ballots so that votes can be counted and results released soon after the polls close on Election Day.

Voters may request a vote-by-mail ballot by:

1. Completing the request form on the back of their sample ballot and mailing it to the Registrar of Voters office;

2. Completing the Vote by Mail ballot application form located on the Registrar of Voters Website ( and mailing it to:

Registrar of Voters office 2724 Gateway Drive Riverside CA 92507

3. Mailing a letter that requests a vote-by-mail ballot to the Registrar of Voters office;

4. Faxing a request to (951) 486-7272

All applications must include the voter’s name, residence address in Riverside County, the address to which the ballot is to be mailed (if different than the residence) and the voter’s signature. Voters may return completed vote-by-mail ballots through the mail or at 60 drop-off boxes located in city clerks’ offices and county libraries, at the Registrar of Voters’ 24 hour drop box located at 2724 Gateway Drive in Riverside, or at any polling place in the county on Election Day.

Voters who have not mailed their ballots by Oct. 29 should drop them off rather than using the mail to help ensure the ballots will be counted. In order to be tallied, ballots must be received in the Registrar’s office before the 8 p.m. deadline on Election Day. A postmark prior to the deadline does not guarantee a ballot will be received in time to be counted.

Though not required by law, Registrar officials will pick up ballots at main postal facilities before 8 p.m. on Election Night to collect any last-minute ballots before the deadline. Officials with the Registrar of Voters and the U.S. Postal Service recently signed an agreement detailing the steps each agency will take to ensure smooth delivery of vote- by-mail ballots leading up to, and on, Election Day. Registrar and Postal Service officials have met several times in recent weeks and will remain in frequent contact leading up to Election Day.

Feds blind to Prop 19 approval

Federal law enforcement does not intend to recognize the legality of Proposition 19 if state voters approve it next month.

Various media organizations have reported that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. announced Friday, Oct. 15 that the Department of Justice will aggressively enforce federal law against possession of marijuana. even if state voters approve Proposition 19.

This proposition would authorize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and allow California local jurisdictions to regulate and tax sales. This is in addition to the current medical marijuana provisions enacted in 1996.

Holder expressed his view in a letter to nine former administrators of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. They had been urging him to publicly take this position since August.

“We will vigorously enforce the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreation use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” he wrote.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Voter Registration info, Tuesday Oct 12

Mobile voting unit plans stop in Riverside on Tuesday

The Registrar of Voters’ mobile voting unit will offer voter registration and voting at the Riverside Community Access Center in Riverside on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Registration Outreach Voting and Education Resource (ROVER), a motor home-type vehicle, is equipped with two accessible voting units for voters to cast a ballot in the Nov. 2 general election. Ballots can be cast using a touch screen, an audio component or the sip-and-puff device of the accessible-voting unit. Assistance with voter registration also will be available.

The ROVER voting unit will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverside Community Access Center, 6848 Magnolia Avenue Suite 150 in Riverside. For more information call (951) 274-0358.

Alvarez for gov?

Okay, I’m wondering who advises third or fourth or sixth party candidates.

The state news since Friday has been about the pending budget resolution. Oh yea, we’re 99 days past the beginning the fiscal year and the legislature has yet to agree on the spending levels.

If you want to govern the state, don’t you have to address the gap between revenues and expenditures. Isn’t that one of the governor’s main responsibilities?

Well, I received an email campaign brochure from Carlos Alvarez, the Peace and Freedom candidate running for Governor. He added with emphasis, he is also a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

“The Carlos Alvarez Campaign for Governor demands the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO troops occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, the 9th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan, it is working families that suffer while the military-industrial complex rakes in millions of dollars worth of profit.”

Okay, that’s an important issue, I don’t question the merit of debating it, IF ALVAREZ WERE RUNNING FOR A NATIONAL OFFICE SUCH AS PRESIDENT OR SENATOR.

The Gov of California, despite the 7th largest economy, is not going to decide this issue. Perhaps we should get his views on the 17th amendment or the TARP bailout.

Oh well, have fun Nov. 2, still time to register to vote or request a mail ballot.

AD 64 Campaign Finances

I’m working on a longer story with more details, but here’s the quick summary.

Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R) has a considerable, but not overwhelming money advantage over challenger Jose Medina (D).

Through Sept 30, Nestande had raised $276,000 this year, $67,000 over the summer, and spent $149,000 already. He had $104,000 available for the final month of he campaign.

Medina has raised only $62,500 total, about 40 percent during the summer quarter, and had already used $47,000. He has $21,000 available for the remainder of the campaign, plus the contributions he collects this month.

By the way, if anyone has contact with Mr. Medina, please remind him that the Town Crier has been calling him and his campaign manager for nearly month trying to arrange an interview.

These data were reported on Oct. 5 and Oct 4 respectively.

Proposition 19

We received the following letter regarding Proposition 19. I'm posting it today and will publish some of it in next week's paper.


Hemp goes back hundreds of years from ancient Egypt, up to the birth of the United States. It has several uses and purposes. The Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution were written on hemp paper. The first U.S. flag was made from hemp. The harvesting of hemp was deemed illegal in 1937. In 1941 Japan stopped all shipment into the U.S. as the states suddenly changed their views on hemp! During WWII the U.S. government encouraged farmers to grow hemp because the Navy needed rope.

Hemp is one of the most versatile and valuable resources. It provides raw material for over 50,000 products, more than any other plant can come close to! The stems produce fabric, fuel, paper and other commercial materials. The hemp is dried and broken into two parts; thread like fibers, and “hurd” (pulp). From the fiber strands, which are spun into thread, they make up the worlds strongest rope and high quality textiles of all types. These fabrics make up everything from clothing, sails, to fine linens. The “hurd” which is 77% cellulose are used to make paper, non-toxic paints and sealants, industrialized fabrication material, construction materials, biodegradable plastics, and so much more. The hemp plant pulp is a source for biomass fuel to make natural gas, charcoal, methanol, gasoline, and even electricity. The seeds are of great nutritional protein value. The leaf is of great medicinal value for relieving stress and treating illnesses from glaucoma to nausea in cancer patients. The root also plays a significant role in invigorating the soil in which it is grown.

One acre of hemp can replace five acres of cotton used for the same materials, noting that cotton uses over 50% of all pesticides used by the United States and actually only kills 3% of the intended insects, the rest is run off into our ground water and embedded in our clothing! One acre of hemp can replace four acres of trees used for paper, and hemp has only a three month growing season! Hemp can add over a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy and at the same time provide us with plenty of independent economic stability. This is why legalization is so critical ! Please share this very important information with all those who aren’t privy to the truth and facts about hemp! By getting to the polls and voting YES to legalize Marijuana can be the first baby step toward our future recovery! There really is a bigger picture at stake here !!

Cathy Brown

Idyllwild, CA

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Proposition 22 letter

We received the following letter regarding teh Proposition 22 story. It will be published in the Oct. 7 edition of the Town Crier. Since it is about the November election, I'm positing it here now.

Vote No on Proposition 22
The following is in response to Marshall Smith’s article on Prop. 22.
According to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Prop. 22 is a constitutional amendment that allocates $1 billion more for transportation projects from the general fund and locks in funding for redevelopment agencies
Prop. 22 does not protect local funding. It protects redevelopment agencies that are, in fact, state agencies.
As the L.A. Times describes Prop. 22, it is a bait and switch. It focuses on transportation, but its real purpose is to preserve redevelopment agencies’ ability to capture property taxes from the counties throughout California, in order to subsidize real estate development and reduce the revenue available for funding such things as police and fire departments and water districts.
As stated in the L A. Times editorial, “It’s hard to see why redevelopment agencies’ ever-growing share of local property taxes — 12% statewide by one estimate — is more worthy of protection than school budgets, worker training programs or any of the other public services coming under the knife.”
In terms of transportation, it makes no sense to force the Legislature to use the general fund instead of fuel tax revenue to pay off existing transportation bonds, as Proposition 22 would do.
Diverting the money out of the general fund cuts the guaranteed funding for schools by an estimated $400 million a year. It also creates a $1 billion loss in revenue each year, and perhaps up to several billion dollars, that would go to health, welfare, the environment, schools, universities and other crucial programs.

Bob Ferguson
Idyllwild and Claremont