County elections office to mail 95,000 ballots


What’s the most-oft-asked question by local voters anxious to make their vote count in the June 7th primary election? It’s not about Trump, it’s not about Hillary or Bernie; it’s “When is my ballot and election information coming?”  

The answer to that is that the sample ballots and voter pamphlets will be mailed Monday, May 9. At the Wednesday, May 4, candidates’ forum in Exeter, Rita Woodard, Tulare County Registrar of Voters, said the mailings were not late and, no, the May 9 date had nothing to do the May 3 Measure H special election  for the Kaweah Delta Health Care District.    

“The plan was to have the mail-in ballots, sample ballot, and polling place information mailed out at least 30 days prior to election day,” Woodard said. “May 9 is officially the first day that voting can begin by mail.”

Also this year, a number of voters, who are newly designated as vote-by-mail, should have received a letter from the elections office. These letters became necessary as the county closed a number of polling as a cost-saving measure.

Anyone who voted in a polling place previously and did not receive a letter, then their polling place is unchanged. The registrar explained that in the past there has always been a few voters who drop by the county Elections Office, briefly review a sample ballot, and then cast their vote if they are designated as vote-by-mail.   

“Some voters vote the minute they receive their ballot,” Woodard said. “The ballot is lengthy and it’s always difficult for voters to find the local bond issues when there are numerous state initiatives.”

All the county-generated election material should be in mailboxes by Thursday or Friday, Woodard said.

“If you have not received your election package after a week, please call the elections office to verify your address,” Woodard said. “There are always some that are incorrectly addressed.” 

Woodard said another problem she often encounters is when voters realize they didn’t receive their packet, they call the Elections Office and find out they never updated their registration.  Anyone who has moved, and even if they notified the elections office but do not receive a packet with their name and correct address, then their registration needs to be updated. 

Anyone with a change of address problem or still want to be able to vote in the upcoming election, the last day to register for the June 7 primary election is Monday, May 23. 

This is especially critical for voters in Tulare County’s District 1, because the race for supervisor includes a field of eight candidates. Seven of the eight candidates attended a Three Rivers forum on Monday, May 2. The local forum was sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation.                  

For election information, or to register to vote by May 23, call the Tulare County Elections Office (559) 624-7300.

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