Friday, August 6, 2010

Answers Surface in Missing San Mateo County Voter Guide Case

Secretary of State Concludes Investigation, Determines Vendor Admail West Made Mistakes

Sacramento, CA – Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, received a letter from Secretary of State Debra Bowen today outlining the conclusion of her investigation into the cause of San Mateo County’s missing voter guides from the June 8 primary election

Bowen said managers of Admail West, the firm contracted to mail the guides, admitted “their company is responsible for duplicate or triplicate mailings of state voter guides to voter households in some counties, while at the same time failing to mail a single state voter guide to other households.” 

During the week preceding the primary election, Hill’s district office received calls from constituents who had not received their voter information guide.  Hill’s office immediately contacted the Secretary of State’s Office, which began looking into the problem. 

“I’m grateful to the Secretary of State for identifying the vendor who prevented San Mateo County voters from receiving their voter information guides,” Hill said. “There are many unanswered questions that still need to be resolved to ensure that this problem does not happen again. I will be working with the Secretary of State to identify corrective actions that may include legislation or a state audit.”

In response to the missing information guides in San Mateo County, Hill introduced Assembly Bill 814 on June 16.  The bill would require that for a statewide election officials include a notification with the sample ballot informing voters they can obtain a voter information guide on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site.

The notice shall also include the telephone number designated by the county elections official, where a voter may request that a ballot pamphlet be mailed to him or her.  The bill, which is awaiting approval by the State Senate and will likely be sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later this month, also would require that the ballot pamphlet be available at the polling place.

This year, Hill also authored AB 1717, which was signed into law by the governor last month. The measure authorizes county and city elections officials to establish procedures allowing a voter to opt out of receiving their sample ballot, voter pamphlet and notice of  polling place by mail and instead receive them electronically by e-mail or on the county's or city's Web site.

Posted by Steve Sinai

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