We are just a few weeks away from the start of the 2020 election cycle.
The Board of Supervisors, the Recorder’s Office, and the Elections Department have been working in tandem for many months to make sure we provide voters with a great experience, whether they choose to vote by mail or in person, early or on election day.
In January, we launched a new elections website which provides a personalized dashboard for each voter.
BeBallotReady.Vote allows you to make changes to personal voter information, learn which upcoming elections you’re eligible to vote in, find voting locations, sign up for text alerts and explore the new ballot style (you’ll fill in ovals instead of arrows).
The Elections Department is also incorporating new tabulation machines to make sure we provide residents with results quicker while still maintaining the security of our elections.
In recent years, counting all the ballots has taken weeks. The uncertainty that comes in the absence of a final tally can lead to confusion and concern, and sometimes outright suspicion and distrust.
We expect better technology will shorten the length of time it takes to count votes, lessening speculation and hopefully improving voter confidence in the integrity of our elections.
Last year, the Board of Supervisors and the Recorder’s Office reached an historic agreement that aligns election responsibilities with what is written in state law, amending an outdated charter that delegated election-related responsibilities to the Recorder.
Under this new agreement, the Board oversees Election Day activities and emergency voting while the Recorder is responsible for voter registration and early voting.
There are now two directors inside the Elections Department, one reporting to the Board and one reporting to the Recorder. They work together to plan and run great elections. You can see the first fruits of that labor in the dual, comprehensive plans created for the upcoming March 17 Democratic Presidential Preference Election.
On Feb. 19, nine polling sites countywide will open for early voting and we will mail out ballots to those on the Permanent Early Voting List.
We will open more than 220 polling places for residents who are eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Election. This is more than triple the number we had four years ago, when long lines frustrated voters.
Confusion about who was eligible to vote was a major problem four years ago, and this year we have a strong, information campaign aimed at making sure voters understand who can vote.
Only registered Democrats are eligible to participate in this year’s Presidential Preference Election. The Republican and Libertarian parties have chosen not to hold a preference election. If you’re not sure about your party affiliation or if you’re eligible, go to BeBallotReady.Vote. Both of those pieces of information are right there on the front page of your dashboard once you sign in.
We have our eyes on the prize and will do all we can to ensure a smooth voting experience and fast, accurate results.