Officials hope to avoid uncounted votes
To make sure their votes are counted, Nevada County voters are encouraged to mail their absentee ballots by Nov. 1.
Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick met with postal officials from Sacramento and Marysville over the summer to sort out the snafu that caused more than 215 absentee ballots to arrive at the Elections Office too late to be counted for the March primary election.
Most of the late-arriving ballots were dropped off at local post offices the day before the election or mailed four days before from out-of-town locations, which Jewett-Burdick said left little chance for them to arrive on time.
After inspecting the late ballots, Jewett-Burdick and regional postal officials agreed that absentee voters should be advised to mail ballots by Nov. 1 to ensure timely receipt.
Jewett-Burdick said that while the Elections Office and postal service are collaborating to prevent delays, the ultimate responsibility lies with voters to make sure their ballots are mailed on time.
“The Elections Office and postal service have worked to develop solutions to the problems that we can solve together,” she said. “Now it’s up to the voters to do their part.”
Posters are up at every county post office reminding absentee voters to mail their ballots by Nov. 1 or hand deliver them to any county polling place on Election Day, Nov. 5.
Jewett-Burdick said the postal service will also use special trucks to speed up the delivery of absentee ballots from Truckee to the Nevada City post office.
Grass Valley Postmaster Rick Beress said voters sometimes fail to include proper postage and end up having their ballots returned.
“Other than that, we’re counting on smooth sailing,” he said.
In March, regional postal officials blamed the delivery delays on mechanical breakdowns at the Marysville facility where Nevada County mail is routed for processing before being sent back.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot through the mail for the Nov. 5 general election is Tuesday. Absentee-ballot application postcards are on the back page of the Sample Ballot Booklet.
The postcard application must be received at the Nevada County Elections Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarks do not qualify.
The application must be signed in the voter’s handwriting, and the absentee-ballot application postcard requires a 37-cent stamp. Applications may also be faxed to the Elections Office at 265-7159.
Voted absentee ballots must be returned to the Nevada County Elections Office or any Nevada County polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5.
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