Two Perfect Storms for County Elections Officials
Friday, May 11, 2012
On the very day the Sacramento County Elections Office was shipping out vote-by-mail ballots for the June 5th Primary Election, volunteers wheeled in boxes of signatures for a tax measure that would fund education.
Three days later, Governor Jerry Brown - and his dog Sutter - stopped by with signatures for their own initiative.
"Well over a million signatures signed by the people," exclaimed Brown.
And those are far from the only petitions. In the back of the office, a half-dozen young employees were counting signatures for another measure.
It's all pretty overwhelming for elections officials - even for those who've been in their jobs for a while.
Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine:
LaVine: "Basically, we are going to have two staffs working - one on petitions and one on the election at this point."
Ben Adler: "And the county pays for it without any reimbursement?"
LaVine: "That's correct. There is no state reimbursement at all for this process."
Extra staff and overtime - all paid for from county general funds. It's especially hard on Los Angeles County, which has the largest population and the most signatures to count. LaVine said it won't be easy and it won't be cheap - but somehow, counties will get it done.
"We will find a way. It may mean long hours. We may need extra help. But we will find a way," said LaVine.
To qualify for the November ballot, a measure must be certified by late June. That's just days before the deadline for counties to certify the results of the Primary election.
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