As if trying to find a certain candidate on a front-and-back ballot or deciding on who’s best for the job in the U.S. Senator race that has 34 hopefuls vying for the seat wasn’t difficult enough, there are 22 ballot types of which the last batch of 2,000 were dropped in the mail on Thursday, May 19. That’s 10 days later than planned, and for the 75 percent of Tulare County voters who vote by mail, that’s way too much stress and worry wondering if a return ballot will even get to the Registrar of Voters by Tuesday, June 7, California’s Primary Election Day.
“If you have any doubts about voting by mail, you can turn in your ballot to the Elections Office or drop it off at a polling place on Election Day,” said Rita Woodard, Tulare County’s Registrar of Voters.
Rita gave an update at the Board of Supervisor’s regular meeting on Tuesday, May 24, and said this election has been more problematic than most.
“Our printer [Pro Vote of Porterville] had a breakdown, and the printing of several lots of ballots was delayed waiting for repair parts,” Rita said. “The postal delays are another situation that caused difficulty because there were so many counties’ ballots being routed through the USPS sectional center at Santa Clarita. They have assured us all the ballots will be delivered by Friday of this week.”
Rita said that anyone who has not received their ballot by today (Friday, May 27), a mere 10 days before the election, they can go to the Elections Office to secure another ballot and vote there.
Voters may request vote-by-mail ballots through Tuesday, May 31.
“If you did not receive a ballot this week you can also call and we can send a replacement,” Rita said. “And we will be open on Saturday, June 4, for voters who want to vote early.”
In speaking with elections officials and some local voters, there was confusion among some who changed party affiliation and are not being allowed to vote in the presidential races or were not aware that to do so required a request for a ballot with presidential candidates. Republican ballots also contain partisan central committee races.
According to elections officials, there is ample information in each voter’s packet that explains most of the issues and answers frequently asked questions.
Supervisors Worthley (District 4) and Cox (District 3) expressed concerns that voters need more time to review the election material and these delays need to be avoided in the future.
For elections information, call the Tulare County Registrar of Voters, 624-7300.
HOW TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT
June 7, 2016 – Presidential Primary Election
Registered to Vote With:
Democratic Party -> Vote for Democratic Party presidential candidates
Republican Party -> Vote for Republican Party presidential candidates
American Independent Party -> Vote for American Independent presidential candidates
Green Party -> Vote for Green Party presidential candidates
Libertarian Party -> Vote for Libertarian Party presidential candidates
Peace and Freedom Party -> Vote for Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidates
No Party Preference -> Vote with a Non-Partisan Ballot (no presidential candidates) or you can request to vote the presidential ballot of one of the following political parties: American Independent, Democratic, Libertarian. (For information on how to request a party's presidential ballot go to. www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-parties/no-party-preference.)
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No matter how you are registered, you will receive a ballot with state and local candidates and measures.
To check your registration status, go to www.sos.ca.gov/Elections/Registration-Status.
Want to change your political party preference? You must re-register to vote, but the deadline to do this for the June 7 election has come and gone. To register or re-register to vote for the November 8, 2016, presidential election, go to www.RegisterToVote.gov.