The California Report with Carl DeMaio

The California Report with Carl DeMaio

The California Report with Carl DeMaio offers candid discussion on the latest in local and national political headlines, policies and reform. The...Full Bio


Don't Wait for Election Day - Early Voting Boosts Integrity and Turnout

Rumors and myths about early voting are depressing Republican election turnout, and Reform California is responding by pioneering a program to promote safe early voting.

Are you concerned with election integrity in California? You’re not alone — but the fear of election fraud has led to rumors that may actually depress turnout of legal voters. And the group it could hurt the most is Republicans.  

Prior to 2020, Republicans often led early ballot returns or at least kept a closer pace of return with Democrats across the country. Of course, the 2020 election cycle raised concerns for many voters about the security of mail-in voting and the practice of ballot harvesting. This has cratered Republican early vote participation and led to skyrocketing election day voting. 

Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, has authored and filed a statewide ballot initiative that he says will fix the state’s election integrity problems by requiring proper maintenance of voter lists and Voter ID to cast a ballot. 

“Until my Election Integrity Initiative becomes law in California, we won’t have fair and fraud-free elections in California - but there are things we can do right now to minimize the fraud and make the process more fair,” DeMaio says.

For this election DeMaio backs the S.A.F.E. voting method, which is an acronym for: 

  • SEND: Mail in your ballot on Day 1 of the election! Do NOT wait until the day of the election, as the state has cut back on polling places and long lines will suppress the vote! Voting on Day 1 gives you the full 30 days of the election to verify your vote is counted or resolve any problems.
  • AUDIT: Track and verify your vote was 1) received and 2) counted online at Check often until your vote is counted and verified!
  • FIX: If you have a problem OR your ballot isn’t counted by Day 20 of the election, go to the nearest polling location and demand a second "provisional" ballot, then vote in-person. DON'T wait until Election Day!
  • EXAMINE: Share this information with your friends and family! Then sign up as a volunteer to examine and monitor the processing and counting of ballots.

“The first step of the S.A.F.E. method is to send in your ballot on day one of the election - and absolutely do not wait until Election Day,” said DeMaio. 

“Sending your ballot in on day one gives you the opportunity to make sure your vote is counted and corrected if it isn’t — if you vote on election day and find out later that your vote was rejected, you can’t fix it,” he explained.

DeMaio also says that holding onto your ballot and voting on election day depresses turnout.

“If all voters decide to vote on election day, you will create hours-long lines and overwhelm polling centers — which will turn away low-commitment voters,” said DeMaio. 

“Say a mom pulls up with her kids in the car and she has to get them home and make dinner, and she wants to vote but the line is three hours long — she is going to give up, turn the car around, and get her kids home,” DeMaio explained.

Further, DeMaio points to the volunteer hours and money wasted by the candidates you support if voters hold onto their ballot until the last minute. Campaigns track who has and has not voted and will expend time and money encouraging you to turn in your ballot. Even if you plan to vote, these campaigns have no way of knowing that, says DeMaio.

“You may be indirectly hurting election odds of your favorite candidates by holding onto your ballot, because political groups and volunteers will spend time contacting you rather than a voter who is less likely to vote — where resources should be spent,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio says that he understands Republicans’ desire for a single election day. However, the election isn’t only one day in California under current law, and there are not enough polling centers set up to handle the demand of only voting on election day — which could lead to less Republican votes if not enough Republicans vote early.

“We need to work within the current law and turn it into an advantage for Republicans while we try to undo some of these bad laws with my Election Integrity Initiative,” said DeMaio.

“We need to vote early, and yes I know some people don’t trust the mail — but there’s a work-around for that,” said DeMaio. “You can use safe drop boxes or turn in your ballot to a trusted group that is collecting ballots and submitting them,” he continued.

Additionally, if you’re concerned about the integrity of the ballot counting process itself, DeMaio says you can volunteer to be a nonpartisan election monitor at your local elections office. These people monitor the counting of ballots for suspicious activity. 

“Most reports we’re getting are that ballot counting centers are running safely, professionally, and legally — but you can monitor the process yourself and report if you see anything suspicious,” said DeMaio. “We have to make sure this election is being run safely and legally,” he continued.

DeMaio says there are volunteer opportunities for poll watching at the Transparency Foundation at

Join the Fight: Support Election Integrity and the CA Voter ID Initiative


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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