Election changes … and surprises
October 11, 2012
On Nov. 6, our office will conduct the presidential general election for the county of Nevada. While Election Day is Nov. 6, we have been hard at work for many months to assure that registering, voting and tabulating the vote goes smoothly and securely. Election Day culminates a lengthy, complex process.
Our voters will choose who will represent us in national government: U.S. president, U.S. senator, U.S. representative; and in state government, senators and assembly members.
Voters will also make decisions on 11 proposed state laws (propositions) as well as for candidates and measures for local government.
Every registered voter will receive a Voter Information Pamphlet (VIP) in the mail with information about local candidates and local measures, plus the location of the voter's polling place. The VIP also contains a sample ballot. What is on a voter's ballot depends on the location of the legal residence.
Three constituents phoned saying President Obama has ordered ballots to be sent to Spain for counting. Not true
— we count them right here in Nevada County.
To vote in the Nov. 6 presidential general election, you must be registered to vote. The deadline to register is Oct. 22.
There are several ways to register. You can phone my office, (530) 265-1298, and request we mail you a voter registration card; you can also request the card at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are numerous locations throughout the county where registration cards are available. The complete list is at http://www.mynevadacounty.com/nc/elections where you can also check your voter registration status.
All Californians, including our military and overseas voters, can now register to vote online at http://www.registertovote.ca.gov. Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified the system Sept. 19 pursuant to state law.
In addition, there are these online services: voters may look up their polling place location and also determine whether the Registrar of Voter's Office has received their vote-by-mail ballot. Also, those who vote provisionally can ascertain, within two weeks, online after Election Day whether their ballot has been counted.
Mail and early voting
Vote-by-mail and early voting begins Oct. 9. Due to closure of some U.S. Postal offices, it is advised when mailing back your ballot, to get it in the mail by Oct. 30 to assure your vote is received on time. All ballots posted in the mail require a 45-cent stamp. Voters who are in mail ballot precincts, do not require postage on their returned ballot envelopes.
Also, the Rood Center will be open Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for early voting, thanks to Nevada County CEO Rick Haffey.
Other ways to return your vote-by-mail ballot include depositing your ballot in the Ballot Drop Box outside the Rood Center at 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City, or upstairs in Suite 250 or in the Ballot Drop Box in Truckee Town Hall at 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee. Ballots may also be deposited at any polling place on Election Day.
All ballots must be received in the Elections Office or at a polling place by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Post-marks do not count.
Changes and surprises
Some registrars in the state have learned that a group called the "Election Integrity Project" intends to send hundreds of observers to polling places around the state, ostensibly to ensure the integrity of the vote.
While the majority of voters cast their votes other than in polling places, we will be especially vigilant to assure that the constitutional rights of poll workers and those who vote in polls are protected from any attempts to threaten or intimidate.
Three constituents phoned saying President Obama has ordered ballots to be sent to Spain for counting. Not true — we count them right here in Nevada County.
Let me assure all Nevada County citizens that our office tightly controls all aspects of registering, voting and tallying. Our tally system is not connected to the Internet or other networks. We report results directly from our tally system to the public, press and candidates via paper reports, which are distributed in a timely manner in our lobby.
Our results are transmitted through a separate, closed secure network, directly to the Secretary of State (for federal and state contests). After those notifications are done, we post our results to the Nevada County Internet site with the assistance of the Nevada County IT department and check the posting for accuracy.
We invested in an independent tally system for eastern Nevada County, and those votes are transmitted to the Rood Center via a process approved by the secretary of state. The next day, when all ballots have been received from eastern county, we count those ballots a second time to ensure the accuracy of the election night transmission.
As the clerk-recorder/registrar of voters for the county, I am proud to serve a community that is active, involved and passionate about our elections and election processes. Without you, we would not have enjoyed more than five years of successful elections. Thank you, Nevada County! Please exercise one of democracy's coveted privileges and cast your ballot Nov. 6.
Gregory J. Diaz is the Nevada County clerk-recorder, registrar of voters and commissioner of marriages.
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