How can I be sure my ballot counts?
Monday is the last day to officially register for the Nov. 6 general election, but prospective voters have an option should they miss that deadline.
California allows for conditional voting – essentially registering and casting a vote at the same time – up until election day. Fresno County Clerk Brandi Orth said anyone who misses the registration deadline will have to conditionally vote at her office, which will also open for special Saturday hours on Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to noon for that purpose.
Orth encouraged all Fresno County residents to check their registration status using her department’s website. The page allows voters to update their addresses, request vote-by-mail ballots or view their polling places until midnight Monday.
Maintaining a current address is important, Orth said, because provisional and conditional ballots do not allow residents to vote in certain address-specific contests, such as Fresno Unified School Board of Trustees or city council elections.
Orth said anyone who goes to a Fresno County polling place and is not on the roster may still vote by requesting a provisional ballot. The law requires that no voter be turned away, she added. These ballots are verified and counted after the traditional polling place ballots.
About half of Fresno County’s registered voters choose to vote by mail, and some may have noticed their absentee ballots arrived late. Orth said this was due to the first official date her office could mail them out falling on Columbus Day, meaning the post office did not deliver that day. Her office’s final batch of absentee ballots was mailed out Monday.
It’s important to sign the envelope on your absentee ballot, as well. Otherwise, it cannot be counted, and the voter must square the vote away with the elections office.
Orth said several hundred absentee ballots go unsigned in Fresno County each year. When that happens, her office will reach out to the voters, who have until eight days after the election to verify their ballot and have their vote counted.