SAN DIEGO — San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Cynthia Paes said they are staying prepared as they continue to welcome more voters to cast their ballots ahead of Election Day. This includes making sure security features are in place.
“Get out there exercise your right to vote,” said Paes.
Voting securely, while being safe is a top priority for the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office. Paes said their election officials or workers have not received any threats, violence or intimidations.
“But we don’t take that for granted,” Paes said.
Under California law, there cannot be a uniformed security or law enforcement officer in standing in front of a vote center. Paes said the election workers are trained in de-escalation tactics. However, Paes said that does not stop them from keeping local and federal police in the loop.
Paes said, “We keep an eye, close contact throughout the election cycle. We have plans in place if there is any event within the area of a vote center, where local law enforcement will contact us immediately if there is an event in the surrounding area.”
Casting a ballot has layers of security. Paes explained, for mail-in ballots, the envelope is a security feature with a tracking code.
When a voter signs the envelope to mail in, that signature is compared to the signature from their registration. Once verified it moves to the next process.
All voted ballots are transported with two people, signed off at every end, then secured in the ballot storage rooms at the Registrar’s Office.
The county’s 141 ballot drop boxes are also well secured, according to Paes.
They are equipped with dual locking mechanisms, anti-pry resistant doors. Paes said, “They have a special compartment where you can’t stick a hand in there. It will only fit the slim mail ballot envelope.”
The county has 218 vote centers open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On November 8, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.