The Press Enterprise newspaper reports on matters pertinent to Riverside County, California. On May 10, 2016 the following article was distributed: “Election: Vote-by-mail ballots delayed by vendor problem”.
“Riverside County elections officials will delay sending out vote-by-mail ballots that were supposed to hit mailboxes starting Monday, May 9….” In California the primary election took place on June 7.
Many voters find the sample ballots invaluable for making a reasoned decision well in advance of the day of voting and marking their sample ballot.
“The vendor hired to mail the sample ballots and voter information pamphlets failed to meet its schedule, leaving about 376,000 sample ballots unsent….” The solution: “… the unsent materials were taken to a different vendor in Sacramento….”
The next quote expresses no concern for the voter but does state that the county official met the letter (but not the spirit) of the law: “It diminishes to a small extent the amount of time the public has to review their sample ballot materials….” So much for the sensitivity and awareness by our public “servants”.
I have been a candidate for public office in the past election and will again be a candidate in 2018. I find it very troublesome and problematic for the voter when the candidate statement which appears in the voter pamphlet to be in the hands of serious voters at an inconveniently late date. Voters have life schedules too.
The Cost to Candidates
The cost to the candidate is $25 per word for gubernatorial candidates. So the statement, “I am a Christian,” has cost me $100. Few members of the public have been aware of this expense.
Now, let’s take a look at what has happened in neighboring San Bernardino County. The Registrar of Voters (ROV) is the election official. Some long-standing, registered-to-vote Republicans who have lived at the same address for many years and have conscientiously voted in every election since living at that address faced a serious problem. They received a Democrat ballot. In the California primary, the ballots are completely separate for the two major parties. At the polls such individuals are forced to vote on a provisional ballot. And provisional ballots may not even be counted if it would seem that to take the time to count them would not affect the election outcome. This information comes by way of a supervising poll worker with many years of election experience. To be complete a few long-term Democrats received a Republican ballot.
Still in San Bernardino County, California, I have been approached by those who did not even receive their ballot. As described above, they were all registered Republicans who have lived at the same address for years and had voted in every election all that time. How could such a situation occur?
I have been on polls watch in the past. I have been very active in a top-to-bottom investigation, authorized by the County Board of Supervisors. The written and oral report was submitted to the Board. The findings include the serious possibility of voter fraud at the central tabulator calculating electronic voting machines, completed ballots not picked up at the post office, completed ballots lost in transport to the central tabulator, to name just a few. Eventually the ROV head was removed.
In large and highly populated counties with elections, small and large, occurring almost continuously, the job of the ROV is extremely demanding. In addition, the California legislature and California Secretary of State endlessly tinker with the regulations.