In preparation for the upcoming primary and general elections, Juanita Murray, director of the Elections Department and Special Districts, held a meeting for poll workers and the interested public to update them on the changes in technology that they will be able to use. “We’re 100 times more prepared for this election cycle,” Murray said. “I’m a firm believer that there is always room for improvement to make the process more efficient. One of my main goals today is to improve communication, so that when the election rolls around you’ll be able to answer any questions at the polls.” More than 300 people will be hired to help with the elections from poll workers to troubleshooters. That means a lot of training time to get them ready for the election days.
She only has two other staff members in her department to oversee and proof 514 different ballots that will be available to voters in the cities and county. She has set up teams to review each of those ballots in a three-step process: a candidate review to be sure all the candidates are on the ballots; a wording review to be sure everything is accurate; and a race review to be sure all the offices up for election are listed. The same process will be done for ballots in Spanish.
The poll workers will have to know who gets which ballot and that will be one of the components of the training process. Voters will be asked if they live in a city and those voters will receive a ballot different from someone who does not live within city limits.
In order to meet state mandates, 129,244 ballots are required to be printed, which is almost twice as many as the 69,000 registered voters in the county, the number as of June 25. Each precinct must be prepared to offer the correct ballot to anyone who may walk in the door. With the change in precinct locations, some voters may show up at the wrong place, so they are given a provisional ballot, which just means the votes were cast in a different precinct.