Dear Friends and Fellow Activists:
As some of you may now be aware, we have learned that some people in San Diego have received xeroxes of official ballots as absentee ballots. (I'm attaching a digital photo of one so you will get an idea of what I'm talking about.) I first learned of this when a friend of mine in San Marcos contacted me on Monday saying that he and his wife received xeroxed absentee ballots in the mail. No letter is included with the xeroxed absentee ballot explaining why they are receiving same and what their options are if they don't want to use it to vote. The same instructions are sent with these xeroxed absentee ballots as are sent with official card-stock absentee ballots. I have been working with Ryan down at the County Democratic Party offices to find out more about what is going on with these ballots and have had my own discussions with Registrar of Voters clerks regarding the matter. (Notes are added to this topic down further...)
Here's the "kicker" and why I want to pass this information on to you in case you are aware of anyone getting one of these funky ballots: Once this xeroxed absentee ballot is filled in by the voter and mailed into the Registrar Of Voters
, it will then be "re-made" onto official card-stock ballots when those become available. (Apparently this is the same process the Registrar Of Voters
uses for many military and damaged ballots!) Registrar Of Voters
staff will work in teams of two per xeroxed absentee ballot to "re-make" it onto an official card-stock ballot. (The xeroxed ballot is too big to fit through an optical scanner so that is why it's "re-made.") The party does have a right to witness this process. Jess Durfee and Ryan Hurd met with Mr. Haas at the ROV today and learned that about 5,000 of these xeroxed ballots went out in San Diego County.
(Xeroxed ballots were used because not enough official ballots were printed and a decision was made that it was better to get the xeroxed ballots out to absentee voters to be sure they got a ballot before Election Day rather than to wait for more official card-stock ballots to come in.) They are still trying to determine from the ROV just who got these xeroxed ballots and in what precincts.
To date we are aware of four voters who have received these xeroxed absentee ballots. If you become aware of any other voters receiving one, please let me know so I can add them to my roster.
The SDCDP will likely be sending out an e-mail to its list and a press release on this matter some time tomorrow.
If you know someone who has received one of these xeroxed absentee ballots, let them know that the process is for the ROV to "re-make" the ballot. If the voter isn't happy with that procedure (and why would they be!), their options are as follows:
1) Call the ROV's office, tell the clerk you received a xeroxed absentee ballot and ask if they now have the card-stock ones available and can you come down and exchange it;
2) Take the xeroxed ballot and the accompanying return envelope that came with it to the polls on Election Day where you may turn it in in exchange for an option to vote on the machines or by paper ballot (however, be advised that a limited number of paper ballots will be available at the polls. See my attachments for further detail on this issue.....)
I know that we are seeing a lot of articles about the reliability of the voting machines, purging of voter rolls and now funky issues like this xeroxed absentee ballot thing. I have had a few people say lately it hardly seems worth voting. Please remind people that we can't win if we don't turn out to vote and we can't cry fowl or that we were cheated of a win if we don't turn ourselves and others out to vote!. Remind them that there are many people working very hard to ensure the security of their vote. Also ask them to be amenable to taking the phone calls of "exit pollers" who may call them on Election Day as the results of those exit polls may be very helpful if there are subsequent challenges to the Election results. (I attended a Voting Integrity meeting last week and learned that the Busby Campaign and some other groups will be conducting exit polls so please help them out by responding to their survey calls.) Also, Debra Bowen's office is keeping an eye out on this xeroxed absentee ballot issue as are Jim and Shar Hamilton with Secure Elections. ( http://www.secureelections.org/activism.htm
If you have any questions on my notes, please feel free to give me a call. (858-486-5359)
It looks like the thin paper ballots will be "remade" by hand at the Registrar of Voters office. One reads it off and the other person marks it. It would be very easy to bribe that second person and have many ballots "remade" incorrectly. "We would never do that here," they said. Sorry, we don't trust these guys any more!
--> IF YOU RECEIVED SUCH A THIN BALLOT, YOU SHOULD EXCHANGE IT FOR A THICKER ONE.
Please send an email to Joan Little firstname.lastname@example.org
if you received a photocopy of your ballot. The County Party office will be coming out with a press release.
Then, call the Registrar of Voters to find out if they have the thicker version of your ballot.
You can determine your BALLOT TYPE by looking at the BT:NNN number above your name on the envelope. Mine is BT:333.
I just called ( General Information: (858) 565-5800) and they said that now, they have the card-stock ballot available. Yes, that's interesting, isn't it. They suddenly have these ballots.
-- Raymond Lutz
- 02 Nov 2006
- Picture of a thin paper ballot: