Bay Area officials work to protect ballot boxes

Your Local Election HQ

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – All Bay Area counties are seeing record high voter registration numbers and return rates for mail-in ballots already.

If the trend continues, this year’s voter turnout could be historic but those record numbers do come with some questions from voters.

“Can I really trust this dropbox? Can I really mail it in, just basic questions,” Scott Konopasek said. 

As millions of ballots continue to be cast in California, voter questions are also filing into local registrar offices.

A big one — What to do if you haven’t received your mail-in ballot? As of Monday, officials are urging anyone who hasn’t received their ballot to contact your local registrar’s office.

Now, if you haven’t registered yet, don’t worry.

While online registration may be over in California, you can still register in person at a polling place all the way up to and including Election Day. 

“We’re urging people to utilize our Saturday, Sunday, and Monday dates cause they’re usually not busy, our vote center workers are bored,” Napa County’s Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said. 

Solano County officials say they currently have 12 percent more registered voters than in the 2016 election and three times as many ballots have already been returned. 

After someone set fire to a ballot drop box in LA County over the weekend, some voters are concerned over the safety of those boxes. 

Solano County Assistant Registrar of voters says you shouldn’t be worried.

“All of our ballot boxes are observed by at least one person — We don’t leave boxes out overnight or unattended. We’re pretty secure, we pick them up and bring them to our office at the end of each day,” John Gardner said.

Right now, the county has 16 drop boxes. Next week they’ll up that to 25 boxes.

On Election Day, there will be 100 polling place locations across Solano County. 

Officials say returning your ballot as early as possible is widely encouraged.

“We’ve done a lot to protect our staff that is working through this process. Voters have lots of options this year, we want them to return the ballot early so we can process it prior to the election and resolve any issues that may come up,” Gardner said.

In Solano County, if you still plan to vote in person, you don’t need to surrender your mail-in ballot but that’s not the case for every county, so contact your registrar of voters or find the answer in that voter information guide you received in the mail.

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