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  • Sunday, November 08, 2015


    eLECTION Watch 2016

    eLECTION Watch 2016
      a community service of Orange Communication System /OCS/
    OUSD Board votes for all mail election for Area 1 Trustee vacancy for March 2016

    The Orange Unified School Board at their regularly  scheduled Board Meeting on Thursday November 5, 2015 voted for an "All-Mail" election for the March 1, 2016  Special Election to fill the OUSD Area 1 Trustee position.  

    The "all mail" election is estimated to save approximately $152,000 in costs for the Special Election.

    The filing period for the OUSD March 2016 Special Election is Monday November 9, 2015 - Friday December 4, 2015.  Ballots will be mailed to local voters starting  February 1, 2016 (overseas and military ballots must be mailed by January 15, 2016).

    Processing of returned ballots may begin 10 days prior to the official March 1, 2016 election date.  No votes maybe released until 8 pm on March 1, 2016.

    The all-mail provision could delay a winner in a very close election because California election laws allows mail-in ballots to be received and counted up to 3 days after the election-which will be March 4, 2016.  The Orange County Registrar of Voters website summarizes this provision :  

    DEADLINE TO RETURN VOTED BALLOTS BY MAIL: (E+3) Any mail ballot cast shall be deemed timely if it is received by the elections official via the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three days after Election Day and either of the following is satisfied: (1) The ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day or is time stamped or date stamped by a bona fide private mail delivery company on or before Election Day, or, (2) If the ballot has no postmark, has a postmark with no date, or has an illegible postmark, but is signed and dated by the voter on or before Election Day, the mail ballot identification envelope is date stamped by the elections official upon receipt of the mail ballot from the United States Postal Service or a bona fide mail delivery company.

    eLECTION Watch 2016

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    Tuesday, November 03, 2015


    Special Election news and ads for OUSD High Schools

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    OUSD looks to an "All-Mail" Special Election to replace ousted Trustee
    In the wake of the successful petition gathering that ousted Greg Salas as the "provisional trustee" for Orange Unified School Board Area 1, the OUSD Board at their regularly  scheduled Board Meeting on Thursday November 5, 2015 will vote on holding an "All-Mail" vote for the March 1st Special Election.

    The "all-mail" election option is allowed in certain circumstances under California law. 

    The November 5th Agenda Item 12 C (page 8) resolution for the item includes calculations that an "all mail" election would save approximately $152,000 for the Special Election.  The item also includes a report on the successful petition drive from the Orange County Registrar of Voters and information pertaining to the Tuesday March 1, 2016 Special Election from the Orange County Department of Education.

    Three U.S. states currently hold state-wide "all-mail" elections: Oregon, Washington and Colorado. The move toward "All mail" elections has been politically controversial.  In all three states Democratic Party led legislatures created the "all-mail" elections claiming they help boost participation.  The Republican Party has been traditionally opposed to "all-mail" elections on the grounds that it is a transparent attempt by Democrats to tip the scales toward Democratic candidates and the system is open to fraud and abuse.    The voting "boost" is thought to favor traditional Democratic Party constituents who are thought to be more likely working on Election Day.

    "All mail" elections transparency concerns center around the mailing process. Critics claim that the ballots are mailed in secret and counted in a central location that makes insiders fraud on a large scale easier to accomplish and harder to detect.

    Security issues include the claims that the chain of ballot custody lacks safeguards because of the numerous anonymous persons handling ballots that are held for weeks before counting.  The potential for ballot mishandling by the Post Office and independent postal companies or more than one ballot sent to a voter has been recently documented. Colorado experienced major problems with its first "all mail" vote in 2014 with 1100 illegally forwarded ballots, 214 voters known to receive more than one official ballot in Boulder County, and official ballots found in dumpsters in El Paso County.

    Republican concerns about election fraud center on the idea that ballots can be stolen from mail boxes or "vote harvested". "Vote harvesting" is when a person shows up at a door to "help" people vote-a political tactic known to be used by party operatives for elderly and disabled voters.  This is compounded by Democratic "all-mail" legislation that allows "ballot harvesters"  to collect and turn in up to 10 ballots at a time.

    Finally, ballot secrecy has often been a complaint about all vote by mail systems. Election Judges can match ballot "inventory numbers" to specific voters-thus in theory seeing how a person voted.  In addition, Republicans have opposed "voting parties" at churches and union halls that encourage voters to bring their ballots in with organizers looking over the shoulders of voters to make sure voters vote the "right way.

    The last state to approve "all-mail" voting was Colorado in 2013 for the  2014 election. When the Democratic controlled legislature approved the bill over Republican objections it was widely reported that the Democrats in the Colorado Legislature were trying to save the re-election campaign of  Colorado's Democratic Senator Mark Udall by making it easier for low-propensity Democratic voters to cast ballots.  That plan backfired as Republicans across the state rallying against the Democratic power-play voted in unprecedented numbers to oust Udall in that year's biggest election upset by electing Republican Cory Gardner.

    OUSD  Administration puts Advertising Kiosks for OUSD High Schools on OUSD Consent Agenda
    The November 5th Agenda includes in the Consent Agenda a proposal to allow a three year-old advertising company called SkookLive to install advertising kiosks at all of OUSD's comprehensive high schools.

    The advertising kiosks are essentially 6ft high touch phones. The advertising is suppose to be controlled by the "schools" with district oversight and would include school and  community  updates, public service messages and...advertising.  Reportedly, the kiosks also have the ability to detect gunshots and notify police. SkoolLive has also placed the advertising kiosks at middle schools.

    The Skoollive site in its pitch to advertisers quotes a USA Today story"Teenagers are becoming more influential in parental spending habits" ( click on SkoolLive ).

    In addition to high schools SkoolLive has also placed the advertising kiosks at middle schools. The kiosks are free to the schools.

    SkoolLive has its detractors-namely a student advocacy group called which has led the fight specifically against the SkoolLive on-school advertising. Among its concerns is the group's claims that SkoolLive misleads districts about compensation.

    There has been controversy in school districts that have more publicly vetted the approval process for SkoolLive rather than use the Consent Item as Orange Unified Administrators are doing. Those concerns  include parent concerns, local businesses concerns, lack of data about the program and the fact that SkoolLive is an advertising company and not an education company.
    For more information click on:

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda
    Information Item 13 A (Agenda page 17): A report on the preliminary  results from the Bond Listening Tour. The agenda item reports that January 2016 is the target date for a recommendations on the feasibility of a 2016 Facilities Bond.  
    Information Item 13 B (Agenda page 18): Information on an independent audit report on district finances as required by the state.
    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday November 5, 2015
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

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