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State Proposal To End Traditional Polling Sites?

Sacramento, CA — Tuolumne County Elections officials are keeping a close eye on proposed state legislation that calls for moving away from traditional polling sites to newly revised “voting centers.”

SB 450 is being pushed by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. It was one of the topics that Tuolumne County Clerk and Auditor-Controller Debi Bautista spoke about on Mother Lode Views this past weekend. Click here to find the entire 30-minute show. She notes that the proposal calls for voting centers to be open in the weeks leading up to the election, one-per 50,000 voters. Tuolumne County already allows for early voting during that period at the main election’s office in downtown Sonora, so the county would not be impacted. However, additional voting centers would need to open in the days leading up to the election. Bautista says SB 450 would require one site per 15,000 voters three days before the election, and one per 10,000 on Election Day.

“It will be interesting to see how it all comes to be, and if it will pass,” says Bautista. “What this is geared for is elections in 2018 or 2020, when this would be put into place.”

Secretary of State Padilla says SB 450 would be way to “modernize” California’s election process. The proposal also calls for mailing every voter a ballot, allowing for Californians to simply drop it in the mail, if so choose. Tuolumne County already has around 75% of the electorate choosing the vote-by-mail option.