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News Too Real Election Edition: Dr. Weber says Calif. elections are safe

California's secretary of state, Dr. Shirley Weber, explains in detail why the California elections are safe

By ONME Newswire

In this last election episode of News Too Real, show host, Julia Dudley Najieb discusses the misleading headlines regarding the 105,000+ ballots challenged this past June primary election in California. Voters can easily be misled by a narrative in a headline that can be lacking other pertinent information.

California's secretary of state, Dr. Shirley N. Weber, explains in detail why the 105,000+ votes not counted in June are not by the mistake of the voter registrar's office; voters have to pay closer attention to signatures on the outside envelopes, and dates of when the ballot is dropped in a US postal mailbox.

California voters, poll workers and the vote count are safe

In an Ethnic Media Services news briefing Friday, experts on the elections explained the close watch this year to ensure the safety of poll workers, the voters, and the count.

On the contrary to the misleading headlines appearing throughout California this past week, suggesting that "California did not count 105,000 votes in the June primary," according to Dr. Weber, a majority of the 105,000 uncounted, challenged ballots not counted had to do with late arrivals to the voter registrar's office: California disqualified 1.6% of its vote-by-mail ballots, or 105,818. Of those, 70,000 were late.

Another percentage of voters forgot to sign the envelope; voters with missing signatures are called right away, giving them an opportunity to sign the envelope, so that the vote will be counted.

As far as late arrivals, perhaps some voters waited until the last day to drop their ballots into the US postal mail service, in which the postmark may not reflect until the next day, as Dr. Weber reiterated. However, California implemented Voter's Choice Act in multiple counties throughout California, giving voters more access and flexibility to vote in enough time.

Established by Senate Bill 450 (2016), the California Voter's Choice Act (VCA) modernizes elections in California by allowing counties to conduct elections under a model which provides greater flexibility and convenience for voters. This election model allows voters to choose how, when, and where to cast their ballot by:

•Mailing every voter a ballot

•Expanding in-person early voting

•Allowing voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county

•Providing secure ballot drop off locations throughout the county

Also, every active, registered voter in participating counties is mailed a ballot 28 days before Election Day.

About Dr. Shirely N. Weber

Shirley Nash Weber, Ph.D. was nominated to serve as California Secretary of State by Governor Gavin Newsom on December 22, 2020, and sworn into office on January 29, 2021. She is California’s first Black Secretary of State and only the fifth African American to serve as a state constitutional officer in California’s 170-year history.

Weber was born to sharecroppers in Hope, Arkansas during the segregationist Jim Crow era. Her father, who left Arkansas after being threatened by a lynch mob, did not have the opportunity to vote until he was in his 30s. Her grandfather never voted as custom and law in the South, before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, systemically suppressed voting by Blacks. Although her family moved to California when Weber was three years old, it was her family’s experience in the Jim Crow South that has driven her activism and legislative work. She has fought to secure and expand civil rights for all Californians, including restoring voting rights for individuals who have completed their prison term.

Weber attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she received her BA, MA and PhD by the age of 26. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she became a professor at San Diego State University (SDSU) at the age of 23. She also taught at California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA) and Los Angeles City College before coming to SDSU. She retired from the Department of Africana Studies after 40 years as a faculty member and serving several terms as department chair.

Before her appointment, Secretary Weber served four terms as an Assembly Member representing California's 79th Assembly District, which includes parts of the City of San Diego as well as several cities and communities in the San Diego region. Weber also served as a member and chair of the San Diego Unified School District and has twice served as a California Elector, including chairing the California College of Presidential Electors on December 14, 2020.

From 2019 - 2020, she served as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC), which consists of the state’s African American legislators and has the goal of promoting equal opportunity for California’s African American community. Weber broke records during her tenure by garnering extraordinary support for CLBC’s efforts and its projects.


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