SALINAS, Calif. (KION)
Hundreds of people showed up to register to vote in person at the Monterey County Elections Office with thousands more doing so online since the first day of voting in California began on October 5th.
Monday was the voter registration deadline but staff members say there are still options for people to register if they missed out.
“If you missed the registration deadline, you missed the easy online application but you can still come in, in person, to one of our two early voting locations, and you can register and vote conditional, so you would be able to register and vote in the same day," says Ayna Gutierrez.
Gutierrez says the counting process has gone smoothly so far, but warns ballots must be filled out and delivered correctly if they are to be counted.
“In the primary, we had 421 rejected and the majority of the reasons were the signature didn’t match or they turned the ballot in late," says Gutierrez.
Data shared from the Monterey County shows 86 ballots were rejected for not having signatures, 165 were rejected for having non-matching signatures and 149 ballots were not received on time.
To avoid mistakes and delays in the process, elections officials are reminding people to make sure ballots are placed inside their appropriate envelope, place their signature in the box next to the X mark with black or blue pen- no red ink, otherwise the scanners cannot read it- and to make sure envelopes are properly sealed before being placed in a ballot box.
Elections officials say they follow up by making phone calls or sending letters out to voters if they find any mistakes, allowing them to make corrections.
That is, if they are able to identify a name on the ballot.
There is also an online tool to help voters keep track of their ballots.
“They can sign up for Where’s My Ballot, so if that ballot gets to us and we’re missing the signature or the signature doesn’t match, it will send a notification to voters to let them know," says Gutierrez.
However, at least one voter says he is opting out of tracking and is confident in the system.
“There hasn’t been any problems so I’m confident that it’ll be done right," says Salinas resident, Gustavo Lopez.