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Officials discuss the safety of mail in ballots

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Posted at 10:54 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 03:37:57-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Starting Monday, absentee ballots will be mailed out to registered voters. The Kern County elections office confirmed that voters will start receiving them in the mail over the course of this week.

Over the course of this week registered voters will be receiving absentee ballots the mail multiple election officials, including the California attorney general and secretary of state ensure that this form of voting is safe and secure.

“We’re prepared to do what is necessary to enforce the law and make sure that fundamental right to vote for all Californians is protected,” said Rob Bonta, California attorney general.

Bonta said election officials will help enforce California's election laws with a team of attorneys and administrative staff located throughout the state including at the various county registrar of voters, like the one in Kern County. He said they also make sure there are no fraudulent votes and ensure that every vote is counted.

The Kern County elections office provided 23ABC a statement on the security of mail-in ballots that stated:
"Voting by mail is an extremely secure process. The elections office compares the signature on the vote by mail envelope with the signature we have on file for the voter before counting the ballot. To learn more about the processing of vote by mail ballots you can view the vote by mail video on our website kernvote.com."

Political Analyst Dr. Ivy Cargile said that the US postal service has a duty to get ballots to the county registrar. After several investigations into the 2020 election, there was at most one percent of voter fraud across all methods of voting. When those fraudulent votes are found she said they are taken out.

“We’ve been doing mailed in voting for decades now. If you think about folks who have decided to live outside of the country, also thinking about our military, they always vote by mail,” said Cargile.

Meanwhile, vice-chair of the Republican party of Kern County, Michael Caves said he’ll be dropping off his mailed-in absentee ballot at the elections office and said it’s not because he doesn’t believe in the US postal service. However, he does point out the governor’s push for more democrats to get involved in elections.

“Democrats don’t tend to show up at the polls, so I think the effort toward mail-in ballots is certainly a political move. That being said, I would not want someone who supports the recall, to not submit a ballot because they’re concerned about the security of the system, or to not submit a ballot early,” said Caves.

The chair of the Kern County Democratic party, Christian Romo said he will be voting by mail and encourages his fellow voters to do so as well.

“Whether it’s elderly people, people who aren’t vaccinated yet, or whether it’s just people who are busy in their day-to-day lives. Vote-by-mail ballots are very efficient in helping us get people to vote and they’re secure,” said Romo.

You can mail your ballot in through the US postal service at a mailbox, turn your ballot in early Monday through Friday 8 am - 5 pm at the election’s office or their 24/7 drop box, or to a ballot box at a polling site on election day.