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Riverside County reviews recommended changes following 2020 Election

The November 3rd election posed challenges for residents and the Riverside County Registrar of Voters Office. 

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors reviewed some recommended changes that could help in upcoming elections. 

News Channel 3’s Dani Romero breaks down the problems and possible solutions. 

“We did see recruitment issues during the November 2020 election," said Rebecca Spencer, Riverside County Registrar of Voters.

Spencer gave a first-hand account of the challenges faced during the election including getting a record number of ballots counted that were mail in and early voting.

"One was that it was in the pandemic so there were a-lot of individuals that were not interested in working other than telecommuting capacity, " said Spencer.

In a report prepared by the executive office, some solutions include processing county ballots 15 days before the election, running the department 24/7 or extending the days the office runs the night shift  and securing more staff and offices.

"Its probably going to be 50 percent increase in staff," said Spencer.

Another complaint, many voters received ballots before the information guides, moving forward the guides should be mailed at least a week before ballots. 

In order to make that happen: “We would have to purchase more licenses for our type setting software and bring in more staff through that type setting and translating and proof reading earlier in the process," said Spencer.

On election day, they saw long lines of voters so they want to improve  by having 5 laptops at each voter assistance center and 10 touchscreen ballot marking devices. 

“ We had some hiccups," said Supervisor Washington.

There were system errors on the opening day at  voter assistance centers including difficulties with voter look up and check in. Spencer called it a “lesson."  

“ We didn't do is have everybody search for voter at the same time," said Spencer. "So definitely moving forward the day before going live we’ll make sure they take that finally step test and look for voters. “ 

Lastly, a message for voters who were concerned about receiving duplicate ballots. 

“The important thing to note is that they are tied to one voter registration record so that when one ballot is returned the other ballots are voided," said Spencer.

The next step is a cost-analysis of the recommended changes. 

Also during the meeting, the Registrar of Voters office estimates the Recall election for the governor will cost the county about $4 million.

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Dani Romero

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