There are upcoming elections in Merced County, the Registrar of Voters reminded local residents on Tuesday at the Merced County Board of Supervisors meeting.
According to Darlene Ingersoll, active registered voters will be receiving Vote by Mail ballots for the Merced City School District (MCSD) Area 3 for a Special Vacancy Mail Election on Aug. 31, and of course, the big Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election.
Voters can expect to start receiving ballots in the mail very soon — as early as next week. And remember, these are separate elections with separate mailings and ballots.
“Our priority first and foremost is to ensure casting your vote is safe, secure and as easy as possible,” Ingersoll said. “I’m confident to continue secure successful elections in Merced County with integrity and accuracy.”
Vote by Mail ballots for the MCSD election may be returned via postage-free mail, at drop-off locations in official Elections drop boxes including drive thru and walk up drop boxes at the Merced County Administration Building or the Elections office. If returning by mail, it must be postmarked before or on Election Day, Aug. 31, and received by the Merced County Registrar of Voters/Elections office by September 3, 2021.
Two candidates are running to fill the vacant Area 3 seat on the MCSD board. One is Adam Cox, a former MCSD board member who actually was the one who left the seat vacant when he resigned last year to pursue a job with the school district. He has since decided to rerun for the board position. Cox will be facing Allen Brooks, a local real estate agent and the president of the NAACP Merced branch. In 2020, Brooks ran for a seat on the Merced City Council, but lost to Bertha Perez.
As for the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election, the Vote by Mail ballots may be returned by postage-free mail, at drop-off locations in official Elections drop boxes including drive thru and walk up drop boxes at the Merced County Administration Building, Elections office or at any Voting Assistance Center. Voters can also receive services (registration, update address, replacement ballot, language services, etc.) and vote in-person at any of the 13 Voting Assistance Centers throughout Merced County that will be open 8 am to 4 pm the three days before Election Day- Saturday, Sept. 11, through Monday, Sept. 13, and on Election Day, Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 7 am – 8 pm for the California Gubernatorial Recall Election. If returning by mail, it must be postmarked before or on Election Day, Sept. 14, and received by the Merced County Registrar of Voters/Elections office by Sept. 21.
All of these centers will be able to help any voter in the county no matter where they live. For example, a Los Banos resident can use a Voting Assistance Center in Merced or vice versa. A list of all Voting Assistance Centers and Drop-off Locations can be found on our website at www.mercedelections.org and is also included in the Election mailing packet with your ballot and Count Voter Information Guide.
Merced County is transitioning to the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) this year and will be full VCA with the 2022 elections and VCA “like” for the Sept. 14 Recall Election. The main changes with the Voter’s Choice Act are:
• All active registered voters will receive a Vote by Mail ballot and traditional polling places are replaced with Voting Assistance Centers throughout the county.
• Voters can choose how, when and where to cast their ballot.
Because of state law (SB 29, SB 152) and shortened time frames for the Sept.14 recall election, all active registered voters will be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot and Merced County will be VCA “like” with Voting Assistance Centers open for 4 days (3 days prior to election day and election day). Please note that a few Voting Assistance Centers are different than the November 2020 election due to availability.
The full Voter’s Choice Act model (starting in 2022) is all Voting Assistance Centers open for 4 days (3 days prior to Election Day and Election Eay) with some (one for every 50,000 registered voters) Voting Assistance Centers open for 11 days (10 days prior to Election Day and Election Day).
For more information, contact the Registrar of Voters/Elections at 2222 M Street. Call: 385-7541, email: [email protected], or visit online at: mercedelections.org.
Our priority first and foremost is to ensure casting your vote is safe, secure and as easy as possible. I’m confident to continue secure successful elections in Merced County with integrity and accuracy.