Vote by Mail Concerns, Part 4

Give the concerns expressed in Parts 1-3 of this series, it should be disturbing that the percentage of Californians registered as permanent vote-by-mail voters is now over 50% and growing. If you share what you have learned in the previous three parts of this series, you can contribute to increased election integrity in California by helping to stop and reverse that trend. In case you need yet another reason: Months after the 2012 election, bags of voted mail-in ballots were found stored in an obscure corner of a post office in California’s Central Valley, having never reached the County Elections Office. Just before their destruction as “dead letters”, an astute worker noticed what they were and alerted authorities. Nevertheless, the election had by that time been certified, and none of those ballots could be counted. Questions: In how many post offices did the same thing occur without detection? How many trusting voters’ votes were lost in similar SNAFUs? Why would any voter who values his vote voluntarily take the chance of becoming the victim of such systemic error? Perhaps your work or travel schedule is unpredictable, and you are a permanent vote-by-mail voter “just to be sure”. In California you can vote in person at your county elections office up to 29 days prior to an election without pre- arrangements. You may also request a one-time vote-by-mail ballot for any election as late as 7 days before Election Day. So unless you are permanently disabled to the point that you cannot get to the polls, or live in a precinct that gives you no option, there really is no good excuse to subject your ballot and vote to the risks inherent in the permanent vote-by-mail system. If you are a permanent vote-by-mail voter, consider having your name removed from that list as soon as possible.

  • Call your County Elections Office and make the request. (Some counties may have a request form they can send you.)
  • Wait a few days and then call or go to the website to check how you are registered; if you are not off the list, repeat your request and repeat the checking procedure.
  • If telephone efforts are unsuccessful, try email, registered letter and finally a personal visit.
  • Continue to check your registration information online, especially as an election nears, to be sure that your vote in person status remains intact.