The Registrar of Voters has recovered a large group of sample ballot books from a long-time vendor that was replaced a week ago after missing a contractual deadline to mail sample ballots for the June 7 election. The vendor had not informed the Registrar of Voters that 75,000 sample ballot books were not included among the 300,000 sample ballots seized when the vendor was replaced last week.
On Wednesday (5/18), the replacement mailing vendor, the printing vendor and the Registrar of Voters were reconciling numbers to ensure all sample ballots had been mailed. During the process, it became apparent that there was a discrepancy in the numbers. The Registrar of Voters immediately attempted to contact the original mailing vendor, who did not respond.
On Thursday (5/19), the Registrar of Voters went to the original mailing vendor’s warehouse to see if the building could be inspected to locate any sample ballots. The original mailing vendor again did not respond but the registrar could see Riverside County sample ballots through a warehouse window. The registrar immediately contacted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and county counsel to discuss legal options for gaining access to the facility.
After a short time, the original mailing vendor contacted the registrar and provided access to the facility. The Riverside County sample ballots were removed under escort by deputies and were taken on Friday (5/20) to be mailed directly by the postal service. The original mailing vendor told the registrar he only recently learned the sample ballot books had not been mailed after they were returned by another company, to which he had outsourced that portion of the job. The original vendor was unable to provide contact information for the company, and had not previously mentioned any outsourcing to the Registrar’s office.
The Registrar of Voters, the new mailing vendor and the sample-ballot printing vendor have reconciled all numbers and determined the vast majority of seized sample ballots had been mailed as of today (Saturday) and the remainder would be in the mail Monday. The legal deadline for mailing sample ballots is May 28. County officials are evaluating the potential for legal recourse against the original vendor.
Sample ballots and voter information pamphlets are available online at www.voteinfo.net and at the Registrar of Voters office. Completed ballots must be received at the Registrar of Voters office or any polling place within Riverside County no later than the close of polls on Election Day or be postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than three days after Election Day to be counted.
Vote-by-mail ballots can be returned through the postal service or deposited in vote-by-mail drop-off boxes at participating city clerks’ offices. City clerk drop-off locations and hours of operation can be found on the registrar’s website at www.voteinfo.net. A 24-hour drop box is available outside the main entrance of the registrar’s office at 2724 Gateway Drive in Riverside. Vote-by-mail ballots also may be dropped off at any polling place within Riverside County before 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters have until May 31 to request a vote-by-mail ballot by completing the request form on the back of their sample ballot, or by using the application form on the Registrar of Voters website at www.voteinfo.net. The request forms may be returned by mail or by facsimile to (951) 486-7272.
Call the registrar’s office at (951) 486-7200 if you have any questions about your eligibility to vote.
Important information regarding the presidential primary election:
- Your voting right in the presidential primary depends on the political party in which you are registered. If you are registered with a political party, you can only vote for a candidate running for president in that party. A “No Party Preference” voter will automatically receive a non-partisan ballot, which will have no presidential candidates listed. However, upon request, a “No Party Preference” voter can instead receive a ballot to vote the presidential ballot of the following parties:
- American Independent Party
- Democratic Party
- Libertarian Party
If you want to register, update your address or change your political party preference you must complete a voter registration application and submit it by May 23. You can register online at registertovote.ca.gov or request a paper application by calling (951) 486-7200.
- There are 34 U.S. senator candidates on the ballot. Look at your ballot carefully. Be sure to cast only one vote for U.S. Senator or your vote will not count.