Last-minute preparations in the county Registrar of Voters Office were going “smooth,” a day before the elections, the registrar of voters said Monday.
“It’s kind of a calm day,” Registrar of Voters Sylvia Bermudez said Monday, adding that “today we are just wrapping up with things mainly in the office.” It was last week that staff was really busy with supply boxes and getting packets ready, she said.
But still, some activities were still taking place outside of the office, Bermudez said as she explained that staff was going with movers to each polling site to ensure the delivery of voting machines and that all supplies were ready.
As this happened, residents were calling and even visited the Registrar of Voters with questions and to drop of ballots.
One of those residents was Josie Roman from El Centro. She came to the Registrar of Voters on Monday to update her information and to get the candidate booklet, said Roman, a Democrat who was still debating whether to swing Republican.
“They both have good things,” she said while referring to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Roman also explained that the Affordable Care Act was what kept her undecided because she was unsure if the act was convenient or not.
Moments later, El Centro resident George Fowlkes came into the office to fix a problem. While having “a sleepy-head moment” he signed his wife’s ballot, Fowlkes said with a smile. “So today I came to make that correction,” he said.
As this happened, office assistants Maria Encinas and Marina C. Rosas were in the back room sorting unclaimed mail ballots that were returned by the post office. “There are so many little things that have to be done before the big day,” Encinas said.
Just feet from her, Ray Duenas was doing just that as he prepared extra supplies and was checking that all the printers for the voting machines had paper. And later on, he said, a team of four or six people was going to be opening mail ballots so they can be then verified and run through the machine.
And running mail ballots seems to be an important task staff will have in the upcoming days. About 31,000 mail ballots were issued and more than 12,000 have returned, Elections Coordinator Debra Porter said, noting some of these ballots have been processed. However, nothing has been tallied, Porter said.
Bermudez is asking voters not to mail ballots today but to turn them in at poll sites instead. She also recommends any voter who has a question to call the county Registrar of Voters at 760-482-4226. Polling sites open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., said Bermudez, who encouraged registered voters to “just get out there as early as possible and vote.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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