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Rules that need to be followed when voting in-person

There are important guidelines that residents need to know when voting in-person at polling locations. If rules aren't followed, it could lead to a fine.

Many Ventura County residents are not waiting until Nov. 3 to cast their votes.

“You know, I don’t want to contribute to the overwhelmingness of voter turnout,” said Steve Richardson, who turned in his ballot at the Ventura County Government Center.

While a lot of voters placed their ballots in drop boxes, others chose to stand in line to vote in-person. But there are rules to keep in mind when visiting polling locations.

“It is in our state constitution that electioneering is a crime,” said Nicole Scurrah, who is a Ventura County polling assistant. “It is a misdemeanor.”

State election rules prohibit clothing, signs and props with a candidate's name or logo within 100 feet of any voting locations. This is known as electioneering and voters will be asked to remove that clothing or vote curbside in their vehicle.

“We will try to give them as many options to vote, but if they refuse, we may have to call the police and the police will issue a fine up to $1,000,” said Scurrah.

The rule does not apply to political slogans like President Donald Trump's “Make America Great Again" motto.

Loitering or distributing campaign information near a vote-by-mail drop box are against the rules. Meantime Ventura County says the number of poll workers dropped significantly since 2016 from 2,000 volunteers then to just 678 now. A big reason is that there are fewer polling locations, and now poll workers are paid, so the hiring process can take longer.

Scarrah is one of them. She's been hard at work during the pandemic -- despite having an auto-immune disease.

“I am really nervous, but I am feeling confident because the county has provided a lot of PPE, and I just hope that people will agree to wear the masks and offer space to others,” said Scarrah.

Ventura County said nearly 47% of registered voters had turned ballots in already. By this time in 2016 just 20% were in.

Voters can still register to vote on Election Day.

California / Politics / Ventura County
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Senerey de los Santos

Senerey de los Santos is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 3-12 covering primarily Ventura County. To learn more about Senerey, click here.

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