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    Diana Rich's Avatar
    Diana Rich
    Seb City Council Member

    Why should I do in-person voting instead of mail-in? What’s the big deal??!!

    WHY IN PERSON VOTING IS BETTER NOW... The Registrar of Voters has stopped processing mail-in ballots for now. Only in-person ballots will be processed through election night at 7pm. After election night, the remaining mail-in ballots will be processed. That remaining batch will be those received from drop boxes and USPS mail any time between Thu Oct 29th at 5pm and Tue Nov 3 at 8pm.


    If you want to make sure your vote is counted on election night, take your mail-in ballot to an in-person voting location and turn it in to get an in-person ballot. Where in Sebastopol? Today through Election Day: Sebastopol Community Center (390 Morris) 9am-5pm on Sat (today), Sun, Mon, then 7am-8pm on Tue 11/3. Or Mon and Tue at the Registrar of Voters: (435 Fiscal Dr in SR) 9am-5pm Mon and 7am-8pm Tue 11/3.

    If you aren’t able to do in-person voting, complete and submit your mail-in ballot by placing it in a secure drop box OR by sending it by USPS mail. If it is in the drop box by 8pm Nov 3, or in the mail postmarked by Nov 3, your vote WILL still be counted, but it will be counted AFTER election night.

    In Sebastopol, our secure drop box is at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (282 South High). All California drop boxes (including ours) will be open and available through 8pm on election night Nov 3. I've confirmed this by phone with the Registrar of Voters.

    For ballots sent through USPS mail: they must be post-marked by November 3. Best advice if you’re using USPS mail at this point: walk into the post office and have the clerk handstamp the envelope right in front of you. That way if there's some confusion about the date stamped at the central USPS processing center, the Registrar of Voters will have a way to confirm you did in fact deliver to the post office on time.

    BUT THE BEST CHOICE AT THIS POINT: Vote in person to make sure your vote is included in the election night numbers!


    ---PD ARTICLE OCT 28---

    Deadline for Election Day count looms

    Official: County voters must submit ballots by Thursday


    Sonoma County voters who want their choices to be reported on Election Night must have their ballot to the county elections office by 5 p.m. Thursday, elections chief Deva Marie Proto said.

    Ballots placed in one of 20 secure drop boxes by Wednesday also will be included in the report issued after the polls close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Sono ma County’s early voting trend continued Tuesday as 153,136 ballots have now been processed, accounting for 51% of the 300,586 registered voters.

    “Unprecedented. It’s exciting,” said Proto, the registrar of voters.

    Two weeks ago, Proto said voter response was “off the charts” when about 45,000 ballots — 15% of the total at the time — had been returned just 10 days after they had been mailed to voters.

    This is California’s first all-mail election, intended to protect public health during the coronavirus pandemic, but more than 83% of Sonoma County voters are registered as permanent mail voters.

    The Thursday deadline is only a concern for voters who want to be included in the Election Night reports, Proto said.

    Updates will subsequently be issued starting about Nov. 6, she said, noting that the signatures on all mailed ballots must be verified before the count can begin.

    Voting at 30 in-person voting locations will begin Saturday, with staffing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Monday and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

    Proto said she intends to get all votes received by Thursday processed on Friday so her staff can shift to the in-person locations Saturday. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and will be counted as long as they reach the elections office by Nov. 20. You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457 or [email protected]. On Twitter @guykovner.

    The PD article can be found here:
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