Protect California Ballots advocates for

local, state, and federal ELECTIONS.

Our activities include:
We need HELP with:
  • education,
  • press events,
  • investigations,
  • publishing,
  • media production,
  • citizens’ written exit polls (parallel elections), and
  • lobbying.
  • Legal assistance, guidance, and research
  •  Data entry and analysis
  • Gathering signatures on petitions for hand counted paper ballots to send to our legislators
  •  Fundraising skills and contacts
  • Speakers to talk to groups and candidates
  •  Finding good exit poll sites
  • Conducting citizens’ written exit polls
  • Writing and printing documents for citizens’ written exit polls and election justice information
  • Writing and sending press releases and letters to the editor
  •  Mailing and emailing information
  • Researching information for distribution
  •  Seeking and writing grants
  • Videotaping and editing video fooage
  What we do

Advocate for

  • for Hand Counted votes on Paper Ballots counted at precincts;
  • to return all major election procedures to civil authorities and
  • to remove these procedures from the hands of private companies or corporations.


  • to return and enhance citizen oversight of all aspects of election procedures;
  • to find ways and means for elected officials to strengthen penalties for and consequences to all public officials and
  • citizens who:
    1. fail to safeguard election procedures and/or fail to follow election laws in the conduct of an election; and
    2. Interfere with or illegally try to influence the practice or outcome of an election;
  • to reform election laws to insure that election procedures promote accurate, honest, transparent elections;
  • to gain and maintain public access to all voting and election related records for all steps of every election;
  • to gain actual citizen oversight of all election equipment as described in the
    California Election Code 15004.


  • the public and public officials on the
    importance of accurate and open
    elections in a democracy;
  • the public and public officials about the problems and dangers discovered in any election system or part thereof.


  • election observer teams to monitor
    election procedures;
  • teams to set up and conduct citizens’
    written exit polls (parallel elections)


  • public records requests to uncover
    evidence about election practices and
  • lawsuits and injunctions and take any
    other legal action necessary in
    furtherance of our purpose.


  • official election results for patterns of
    inaccuracy and potential fraud.


  • court access to the real paper ballots
    for the purpose of investigating fraud.


Founder and Chair of the Steering Committee

Judy Alter, emeritus UCLA Professor, began working on election justice issues four days after the California Oct. 2003 Recall Election when Lynn Landes offered compelling evidence about how Diebold machines swung the election away from Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante to the current governor. Before the Nov. 2004 election, she urged elected officials to consider counting voters’ filled in sample ballots to check the accuracy of the secret software being used in the election. Jeremiah Akin trained her in the thwarted Recount New Mexico effort.

She subsequently analyzed the voting results in Santa Fe NM and since Jan, 2005, has given numerous talks about her findings there as a case study of voting irregularities in Nov. 2004. She also gives talks about the problems facing voters in California and Los Angeles County in up-coming elections.

Judy started Study California Ballots (now Protect California Ballots) and signed up over 300 volunteers in 16 California counties to work toward unsealing the 2004 ballots. In July, 2005 some of her volunteers invited her to help audit the San Diego mayoral election where she led 23 volunteers from seven CA counties in parallel elections at 5 polling sites. She helped train volunteers in five California counties who conducted 19 parallel elections in the special election in November 2005 and helped citizens in several other states conduct them. She will help volunteers conduct many more “citizens’ written exit polls” (parallel elections) in up-coming 2006 elections.