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California Recall: Answers To Voter Concerns On Signature Verification, 2nd Question, Holes In Envelopes

(KPIX 5) – The upcoming September 14 recall is California's second statewide vote-by-mail election, in a pandemic, in nine months. And once again, many voters have questions and concerns about their ballot being counted.

"I submitted it last week via the mail," says Julian Medina of Oakland. "On Monday night, I checked online and it said that it was not accepted."

Medina, a voter so attentive he knew his ballot had been flagged before the registrar's office could even inform him.

"My ballot, or signature was questioned," he told KPIX 5.

Signature issues are consistently the most common ballot problem. A voter's county will reach out to resolve the matter, unless the voter catches it first.

"Yeah, pay attention," Medina said. "Check the website frequently. Check it every day."

"The other thing that's tripping some voters up," says Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "They don't necessarily know how they want to vote on the second question."

Alexander says a lot of people wonder if they have to vote for someone, or if the second choice depends on the first.

"You can skip that contest," Alexander explains. "It doesn't matter how you voted on the first question, you can vote or skip the second question if you want."

Lastly, there are the holes in the envelopes.

"They are right next to the X here," Alexander said, pointing to an envelope. "And that's to help voters with vision problems be able to find the signature box easily and make sure that they do sign their envelope."

A social media post about envelopes in Los Angeles County has produced allegations of an election conspiracy, even though these holes have been used in envelopes across the state for a number of elections now.

"I don't expect voters to know everything," Alexander says. "I do hope that when people are unsure they will stop, do some research, ask questions of people who are informed about what's happening, before they go out and share it on social media and get everybody scared that someone is trying to steal their vote. That's not helping."

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