“Secure the Vote” Initiative Fights to Improve Integrity of California Election

dylan Confidence in Democracy Initiative, Government Performance Initiative, Open Government Institute

The Transparency Foundation pioneered a new effort in California’s 2022 elections to enhance election integrity by boosting early election turnout and educating voters on the “S.A.F.E. Voting Method”

At the start of 2022, polling showed many California voters increasingly concerned with the integrity of the state’s election system. To address the issue, the non-partisan Transparency Foundation launched an effort to enhance election integrity, called the “Secure the Vote” campaign. 

The “Secure the Vote” featured a multi-pronged strategy to address the significant (and frankly indefensible) weaknesses in the California election process. 


Through emails, marketing partnerships, and online videos and ads, the Transparency Foundation attempted to educate voters on how to vote legally and securely using the “S.A.F.E. Voting Method.”  (WATCH THE VIDEO)

The S.A.F.E. method is an acronym for “Send, Audit, Fix, Examine,” which breaks down the voting process into sending your ballot by mail on day one, auditing the delivery of your ballot, fixing any errors and finding your local polling place, and examining the ballot counting process by becoming a poll watcher.

“Californians are right to have concerns about the election and their ballot,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of the Transparency Foundation. 

“The S.A.F.E. method helps address them by ensuring you vote early, track your ballot, correct any mistakes, and monitor the counting of ballots,” said DeMaio. 


To encourage voting early, the Transparency Foundation pioneered the “SAFE  Vote Sunday” program in October. The program partnered with churches, community groups, and others to encourage voters to return their ballots for California’s November 2022 election on or before the first Sunday after ballots were mailed to voters.


But DeMaio says, by far, that the most important work of the program has been the “Examine” portion of the method — getting eyes and ears on the ballot counting process and providing real-time support to voters.

During the 2022 June Primary and November General Election seasons, the campaign recruited hundreds of concerned Californians to apply for jobs with their local elections office or to volunteer as a third-party monitor during the ballot counting process. 

“For years, Left-wing groups have been working to recruit partisan actors to take these positions and have eroded public trust in the process,” explained DeMaio. 

“We wanted to make sure that these part-time jobs and volunteer positions were taken by fair and impartial members of the community — so that we can ensure the process is done right,” he continued. 


And for any voters or poll monitors that witnessed suspicious behavior, or for members of the public that found problems with their ballots, the campaign offered a help desk for reporting and getting feedback on any issues.

“We’ve been very happy to offer the help desk to ease voter concerns and investigate problems,” said DeMaio. “We’re committed to ensuring that every ballot is legal, and we’re prepared to pursue legal action on any credible case,” he continued. 


The Transparency Foundation intends to compile a report documenting its work on election integrity in California – as well as providing a “scorecard” on integrity issues and recommending remediation and improvements in the process.

“Together, we are shining a light on elections in this state to flag any problems in real time and demanding improvements to the process in the future,” DeMaio remarked.

In addition to sharing information about the campaign and its website, ElectionIntegrityCA.com, DeMaio is asking the public to support the campaign today to help expand its efforts in 2024.

Join the Campaign: Secure the Vote in 2024