All 1.23 million Riverside County voters have been issued a vote-by-mail ballot for the election. Voters have several options for casting their vote in this election. They can return their vote-by-mail ballot postmarked by Nov. 3 via U.S. mail, take it to any one of 80 drop-off locations throughout the county, visit any of the county’s 130 vote assistance centers between Oct. 31 and election day to drop off their ballot or vote in person, or vote at an early voting location.
With election day two weeks away, the Registrar of Voters reported that early voting will be available this weekend at three malls in Palm Desert, Riverside and Temecula. From Friday, Oct. 23 to Sunday, Oct. 25, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., voters can cast an in-person ballot or drop off their vote-by-mail ballot at the Westfield Palm Desert Mall, the Galleria at Tyler in Riverside and the Promenade in Temecula.
Early voting is also available at the Registrar of Voters office in Riverside, 2720 Gateway Dr., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Registrar’s office will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 24 for voting.
County supervisors had the opportunity to ask questions.
The Registrar of Voters was asked if people can still register to vote following yesterday’s (Oct. 19) traditional voter registration deadline. California now offers conditional voter registration, referred to as “same-day voter registration.” People can still register to vote at the Registrar of Voters office or at any voter assistance center or early voting location. They would fill out a voter registration card and be given a provisional ballot. The voter registration card is processed after election day. If the individual is determined to be eligible to register to vote, the voter registration will be confirmed and the voter’s provisional ballot will be counted.
The Registrar of Voters was asked why some voters received their vote-by-ballot before receiving their county voter information guide, a pamphlet that contains candidate statements and a sample ballot. Riverside County has asked the U.S. Postal Service to look into the delivery inconsistencies and irregularities, as the county turned in the voter information guides to the Post Office to be mailed a number of days prior to turning in the ballots to be mailed.
The Registrar of Voters was asked about its capacity to answer phone calls from voters. There was a high volume of calls on Tuesday, Oct. 13, the day after a county holiday, with a wait time of several minutes. There are no issues currently with phone wait times. There are 80 phone operators available to assist voters who contact the Registrar’s office, 951-486-7200.
Supervisor Karen Spiegel, a member of the Board of Supervisors’ ad hoc committee to work with the Registrar of Voters, brought up concerns about voters receiving more than one vote-by-mail ballot. Registrar of Voters Spencer responded that, based on specific instances the department has researched so far, duplicate ballots could be an issue caused by a voter making a change to his or her voter registration soon after the issuance of the vote-by-mail ballots, and prior to the voter registration system merging the two voter registration records to eliminate the duplicate record.
If voters receive more than one ballot, they should only vote with one of them. The Registrar of Voters follows processes to ensure only one vote is counted per person.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, who serves with Supervisor Spiegel on the Registrar of Voters ad hoc committee, inquired about one of the department’s Web pages that was down temporarily a few weeks ago. The Registrar explained that the main Web site, www.voteinfo.net, has always been up, but a particular Web page, https://www.voteinfo.net/vbm/vbm.html, was down for two weeks while being updated. That Web page is back up and running. Supervisor Perez stressed, going forward, that we don’t have broken links and, if a page is being updated, the department add wording that the page is being worked on rather than an error message.
“A presidential election is an immense undertaking for our county, our state and our nation,” said Supervisor Perez. “I appreciate the long hours our county staff put in to make sure this election is conducted as reliably and smoothly as possible. It was great that this morning, we had the opportunity to ask questions on a few challenges and hone in on the current situation. We will continue to educate and communicate as often as possible as we conduct a fair and accurate election.”
The Board of Supervisors meeting can be viewed online at http://riversidecountyca.iqm2.com.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez is the chair of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, representing the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County as the Fourth District Supervisor. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the Fourth District is the largest geographical district in the county.