Know your rights: Voting safely, privately in San Diego

Presidential Election 2020

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Officials reminded voters in San Diego County Friday that their rights to vote safely and cast ballots privately are protected by law, and urged them to report any election meddling to authorities.

Law enforcement and the local prosecutor’s offices are collaborating with the County Registrar of Voters to investigate incidents of interference or suppression of voters’ rights at polling places or mail ballot drop-off locations.

“As prosecutors, we’re constantly working to prevent crime and protect the public’s safety — including protecting the rights of every voter to safely vote in San Diego County,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “We are working closely with law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney and the City Attorney to ensure a civil process during and after the election and we are calling on our community to report any suspicious or unlawful activity to law enforcement. Voters should be assured that we won’t tolerate violations of state law connected to voting or polling locations, including hate crimes.”

A set of fact sheets were released Friday outlining voters’ rights and listing activities that are prohibited pursuant to the California Elections Code.

Rights protected under the law include the right to vote without coercion or intimidation, the right to vote at a polling place where social distancing and face masks are required, and the right to vote free from campaign activity and electioneering.

Prohibited activities include voter intimidation, tampering with voting systems, campaigning at or near polls and interfering with the election process.

Voters were urged to report unauthorized guns at or outside the polls by calling 911, and to report any illegal or fraudulent election activity to an elections official or the Secretary of State’s Office, including vandalism at polling places or tampering with election equipment.

Reports of suspicious behavior can also be made to the Registrar’s Office at 858-565-5800, the Secretary of State Voter Hotline at 800-345-VOTE, or the San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center at 858-495-7200 or online at this link.

“Every voter should feel confident in the integrity of this election,” San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “District Attorney Stephan and I want to make sure that the public knows that laws and procedures to protect voting rights are in place. We want to ensure votes are cast safely and that all conduct at polling places is lawful. Those who violate the law will be held accountable.”

County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said, “The close coordination between the Registrar of Voters, the District Attorney and the City Attorney’s Office is paramount to ensuring a safe voting environment for our San Diego County voters. Our collective message to all eligible voters: Your right to vote freely in this, or any election, will be protected.”

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