If anyone knocks on your door and tries to collect your mail-in ballot, he or she is breaking the law and should be reported to police, the Merced County Elections Office said Monday.
Elections officials have received multiple reports of people going door-to-door offering to take mail-in ballots, which authorities said was unethical and illegal.
David Sullivan, the Merced County assistant registrar of voters, said the Elections Office received reports from a voter and from law enforcement Monday morning. “We jumped on it immediately,” he said.
Vote-by-mail ballots should only be returned by the voter or a member of their immediate family, and they must be signed to ensure the vote is processed.
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If vote-by-mail ballots aren’t signed, the Elections Office has a process in place to validate the ballot. “People really need to be on their toes about that,” Sullivan said.
Election Day is Tuesday.
On the ballot Tuesday at the local level are the 16th Congressional District representative, the 21st state Assembly District member, and three seats on the Merced County Board of Supervisors.
As of Monday, Sullivan said 92,357 people were registered to vote in Merced County.
There will be 56 polling stations set up throughout the county, all of which will have translators for those who speak Spanish. Some also will have Hindi translators because more than 5 percent of registered voters in the county speak Hindi.
Sullivan predicts voter turnout to be heavy based on the amount of calls the Elections Office has received. “It all depends on what happens on Election Day,” he said. “We’ll see how my prediction stacks up against reality.”
For those looking to find where their polling station is, the county’s election website has a tool that will tell voters by searching for their address.
Voters also can use the website to preview, premark and print their sample ballots before going to the polls to expedite the voting process.
Poll workers are trained to answer most questions, but anyone who wishes to receive further assistance can call the county Elections Office at 209-385-7541.
To report collections
Anyone who sees individuals trying to collect sample ballots should contact law enforcement or the California Secretary of State’s office at 916-653-3595.