It’s that time of year again when you have a chance to make your sure you political opinion is heard in Kern County.
According to Kern County Elections Office officials more people are showing interest in sharing their voice than in years past, "Were up about 7100 voters just since the primary," Assistant Auditor Controller County Clerk Karen Rhea said.
Even though the number of mail in ballots returned won't be finalized until after Tuesday's election, Rhea said it is still not too late to use the ballot you got at home. Vote by mail voters can still drop off their ballot at any polling site in the state of California or the Kern County Elections Office. “If your voting by mail your ballot has to reach us by three days following the election but it has to be post marked by election day. So if you are doing it by mail you have to mail it by election day because that's pushing it because we have to receive it by Friday," Rhea said.
If you never received your ballot in the mail and you didn't request a replacement ballot Rhea said you can vote at your local poll site on election day from seven in the morning until eight at night. Voters can also check to see if they are registered, what their vote by mail ballot return status is and where the nearest poll site is by visiting the secretary of state's "my voter status" website online.
Rhea said officials are doing there best to make voting even faster than before to avoid long wait times for you at the polls, "We have a fun little drive through drop off and we hand out stickers and pins and so we will be accepting ballots that day and we'll get those processed. We also have that drive through drop off on election day while the polls are open from seven a.m. until eight p.m."
Rhea said your last chance to register to vote is in person at the Kern County Elections Office from seven a.m. to eight p.m. Tuesday and they will accept your vote on the spot right after you finish registering if you haven't already done so. As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, the Kern County Elections Office had 74,016 returned ballots since the primary election and by late afternoon Monday they received another 7,200 more.
Rhea said unless you are a first time voter who registered by mail you do not need to provide any identification when you arrive at the polls tomorrow, but she said officials are taking steps to avoid voter fraud, "In the event that a voters signature fails to match the registration file because we check every signature on every envelope against a registration to confirm the eligibility."