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Vote-by-Mail and Voter Turnout in the Pandemic Election

April 14, 2021

States across the country took extraordinary steps to increase voting by mail for the 2020 election in an effort to minimize in-person contact and virus transmission risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest such policy change involved mailing every voter a ballot by default. California took additional steps toward facilitating vote-by-mail—such as a statewide ballot tracking system and a later deadline for receiving ballots that had been postmarked by election day—and many counties in the state also adapted their options to accommodate in-person voting.California is now debating making universally mailed ballots a permanent feature of the state's elections moving forward, through AB 37. The state has already committed (through SB 29) to extending the approach through 2021, including for any gubernatorial recall election that may occur. At the same time, other US states plan to return to a version of their pre-pandemic approaches or may introduce policies to constrain voting by mail.In this report, we analyze a wide range of data to identify how recent policy decisions affected voter turnout.

California's Welfare Recipients: Family Circumstances, Income, and Time on Aid Among CalWORKs Families

May 8, 2012

Examines the characteristics of beneficiaries of the state's cash assistance and welfare-to-work services for low-income families, including type of employment and factors associated with longer reliance on CalWORKS, such as low educational attainment.

California's Political Geography

February 29, 2012

Based on PPIC Statewide Survey data, outlines regional variations in party representation in the U.S. Congress and the state legislature, residents' party affiliation, and ideology on social and fiscal issues. Considers electoral implications.

California 2025: Planning for a Better Future: 2012 Update

February 9, 2012

Updates, with 2011 data, policy issues, underlying factors, needs, projections, and outlook for the state's budget, climate change effects, economy, education, population, transportation, water management, and workforce.

The Great Recession and Distribution of Income in California

December 7, 2011

Analyzes changes in household income during the 2007-09 recession by percentile, family structure, and region; the gap between high- and low-income families compared to other states; the impact of un- and underemployment; and the role of education.

California's Food Stamp Program: Participation and Cost Challenges for the State

September 19, 2011

Assesses trends in the CalFresh program and whether recent and proposed changes would affect California's low participation rates or high administrative costs compared with other states. Suggests further steps, including eliminating fingerprinting.

Rethinking the State-Local Relationship: Corrections

August 19, 2011

Examines issues for shifting correctional responsibilities for lower-level felons from the state to counties, including funding, jail time and early release, alternative sanctions, post-release community supervision, and coordination of social services.

Illegal Immigration

July 14, 2011

Provides data on the number of illegal immigrants in the United States, countries of origin, areas of settlement, demographics, reasons for immigrating, economic role, and fiscal impact, as well as public attitudes and the immigration policy debate.

California Housing: Planning for a Better Future

June 21, 2011

Summarizes characteristics of the state of California's housing market in the aftermath of the bubble, including foreclosure rates, home prices, density, rents, and vacancies compared with other states, as well as the short-term outlook.

Rethinking the State-Local Relationship: An Overview

April 28, 2011

Offers a framework for realignment of state and local governments, including a brief history; principles, such as increasing cost-effectiveness; constraints; funding issues; and an agenda in the context of broader improvements in state-local structure.

Facing Facts: Public Attitudes and Fiscal Realities in Five Stressed States

October 5, 2010

Analyzes survey findings on how residents of Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, and New York view their states' budget issues; budget cuts, tax hikes, and borrowing; priorities, including K-12 education; government performance; and reform.

Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects

April 6, 2010

Assesses the effects of a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants on the labor market, tax revenues, and public assistance programs. Estimates immigrants' economic mobility by visa status and skill level as well as eligibility for benefits.