Overlapping elections a headache | May 1, 2009 | Danville Express | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


Danville Express

Newsfront - May 1, 2009

Overlapping elections a headache

Clerk's office pays for upgrade to counting machine

by Geoff Gillette

Residents in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District may be suffering a bit of confusion, as over the last few weeks they've received not one but two ballots for upcoming elections.

In early April, Contra Costa County Clerk Steve Weir's office sent out 81,000 ballots to voters within the SRVUSD for the May 5 Measure C parcel tax special election.

Then in the second week of April, they started mailing out ballot information for the upcoming May 19 statewide special election. Some voters will just be getting sample ballots in the mail, but for those who request mail-in ballots or who live in mail-in only precincts received an actual ballot for the Measures 1A-1F election.

"This is the first time we've had this happen," said Weir, "where two elections overlap like this."

Because they will be receiving ballots ahead of time for both elections, Weir said they had to perform some needed upgrades on their sorting machines in order to make sure the ballots were properly sorted to the correct election. The upgrade cost Weir's office around $32,000.

Weir cautions voters to be careful to return the proper ballots in the proper envelopes and mail them in time to be counted in his office. Measure C ballots should be in the mail no later than May 1, while mail-in ballots for Measures 1A-1F should be in the mail by May 15.

The ballots sent out for the May 5 election are postage paid, while those for the May 19 special election are not.

"We just want to do everything we can to ensure that voters get their ballots in the mail, and that they don't get held up because of lack of postage, or anything like that," Weir explained.