"Does My Vote Count?" Pasadena Forum to Explore Changes to Election Process, Safety and Security

Published : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 | 4:45 AM

Given reports of Russian interference in the last U.S. Presidential election and fresh reports daily of computer security breaches at major corporations and government agencies, many people seem to harbor doubts about the sanctity of our national and local election processes. Do elections still work?

It is a question the League of Women Voters Pasadena Area (LWV) will consider in depth during a Thursday, Sept. 5 breakfast forum at the Women’s City Club in Pasadena.

“There couldn’t be a more important time,” said LWV Pasadena Area President, Patricia Coulter. “We are called the Pasadena Area League because we serve 13 cities within that geography. And we want to get the word out and make sure that people understand the new voting system that’s coming down the pike for the March primary.”

That, she said, will serve as a good dry run for the November elections, “so that they understand what is going on. That will take some of the fear and apathy out of questions like, Does my vote count?”

To that end, she said, there will be several forums at the Altadena Library in September and October so people can get up to speed on the changes in voting protocol locally.

Thursday’s forum will feature Jon Fuhrman and Martha Zavala. Fuhrman’s an authority on political systems, Zavala, chair of the LWV’s voter service committee.

She will discuss how the aforementioned changes to regional voting centers from neighborhood polling places could affect confidence, not only during the March primary, but the presidential election in November 2020.

Fuhrman will discuss the fragility of the right to vote from his experience as a member of the County Information Systems Commission and as a member of ACT for the Arroyo Democratic Club, a voter engagement effort.

“We’ll be discussing two issues,” explained Fuhrman. “Is your vote safe? And two, Does your vote count? Because everyone’s vote counts. In California, the answer is certainly yes; your vote is safe and it does count.”

The state, he explained, has a well-designed election system to protect the right to vote and ensures everyone’s vote is counted. “It gives you the ability to essentially track your vote being counted,” Fuhrman noted.

California requirements for a physical audit of 1 percent of votes cast in each precinct, for both major political parties to observe processes, and for an “actual printed ballot that can be hand tallied to check against your machine tally totals,” are safeguards that are not practiced in every state, he noted.

Registration is 8:30 a.m. An optional breakfast at is at 9:00 am, The program begins at 9:30 am. Reservations are required for the breakfast priced at $25, and for an assured seat at the free forum. Register online here or call the league office at the above number.

The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 North Oakland Ave, Pasadena.

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