Voter registration deadline looming

The last day to register to vote in the June 3 primary election is Monday, the Merced County Elections Office reported.

Barbara Levey, county registrar of voters, said she was aware of numerous signs in Merced County posting incorrect information about the deadline to register, but confirmed would-be voters have until 5 p.m. Monday.

“They can register by mail and as long as the postmark is Monday, they’ll be fine,” Levey said.

Only about 27 to 30 percent of Merced County’s more than 94,000 registered voters are expected to cast ballots in June.

Vote-by-mail ballots were sent out last week, Levey said.

“Some of those ballots have been returned to us because the people moved away and did not update their information,” Levey said. “If we get updated information, we’ll send them back out or people can contact us at the office.”

Levey said voter registration cards can be completed at every city hall in Merced County and the County Administration Building, 2222 M St. in Merced. Residents can also register to vote online by going to the Merced County website at www.co.merced.ca.us. Under “county departments,” click on “registrar of voters” and then click on “register to vote.”

For more information, contact the Merced County Elections Office at (209) 385-7541.

Merced County campaigns on the June ballot include the first sheriff contest in more than a decade; two county supervisor positions; treasurer-tax collector; and several key bond measures aimed at Merced city schools.

Several incumbent candidates, including a judge and the district attorney, are running unopposed.

At the state level, Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, faces a challenge for his seat from businessman Shawn Bagley.

State Assemblyman Adam Gray is running unopposed.

The race for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives held by incumbent Jim Costa, D-Fresno, is expected to draw some voter interest in Merced County.

Costa's challengers in the 16th Congressional District – which covers all of Merced County and parts of Madera and Fresno counties – are Fresno attorney and Merced native Steve Crass; Chowchilla farmer and small-business owner Joanna Garcia-Botelho; former military officer Mel Levey of Merced; Job Melton, a Fresno mental health clinician; and Burrel dairyman Johnny Tacherra.