Jan 12 2012

Piedmont Voting Begins

Piedmonters received absentee ballots this week and have been seen posting the big yellow envelopes in the Civic Center mailbox.

Failure to sign the declaration on the back of the ballot is the most frequent basis for rejected absentee ballots.  (Incidentally, the term “absentee ballot” is no longer used officially.  The preferred term is now “Vote by Mail Ballot” since it is being encouraged and no longer is dependent on the expectation that the citizen is unable to get to a polling place.)

The nonpartisan ballot has no County, State or Federal components, making it much shorter than many ballots Californians have become accustomed to receiving for November elections.  The instructions stress that the ballot should be completed using either a “black or blue ballpoint pen only” to connect the arrow next to each selected vote.  One 44-cent or forever stamp must be affixed to the envelope.  The signature and address must be filled in on the back of the ballot envelope under the following declaration:

“The undersigned declares under penalty of perjury that he or she:

1) resides within the voting precinct

2) is the person whose name appears on this envelope and

3) has not applied nor intends to apply for a Vote by Mail Ballot from any other jurisdiction for the same election.

The sample ballot and voter information for the February 7 election was available online 40 days before the election.  As of January 1, 2011, registered voters had the option to “go green” by opting out of receiving sample ballots and voter information by mail.  (contact http://www.acgov.org/rov or 510-272-6973 to request a ballot in a language other than English or Spanish, for information on your polling place or to opt out of receiving voter information by mail.)

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