Vote By Mail Information
In 2002 California State Law was amended to allow voters the option to register as permanent vote-by-mail. Since then, the number of vote-by-mail voters has steadily increased in Mariposa County. Currently, approximately 70% of voters in Mariposa County are vote-by-mail voters. Although Mariposa County has generally demonstrated above average voter turnout, utilizing this method regularly surpasses that of the turnout at polling sites on Election Day
A dramatic change came to election law in California in 2016 with the passing of SB 450, therefore adopting the Voters Choice Act (VCA). This allowed California Counties the option to conduct any election all by mailed ballot, with the use of Voter Centers, commencing January 1, 2020. On June 2, 2019 the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors approved the implementation of the VCA in Mariposa County.
With the adoption of the VCA, the Mariposa County Elections Department is required to prepare an Election Administration Plan (EAP). With it, the idea is to expand the County’s voter education program to inform Mariposa residents about the VCA and also to gain community feedback and input as it develops. The first Election utilizing this new model is the March 2020 Presidential Primary Election. This Election Administration Plan provides information on how the County will implement the Voter’s Choice Act. There are many actions included in this plan that are future-looking and are included as framework for what is expected to be accomplished.
Following the adoption of the VCA in June of 2019, the Mariposa County Registrar of Voters (ROV) established a joint Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC) and Language Accessibility Advisory Committee (LAAC). This committee was established to provide feedback and guidance to the Elections Department and will continue to be a fundamental component of election administration in Mariposa County.
In short, this new model of conducting elections in Mariposa County affords voters more flexibility with regard to casting their ballots. All registered voters will be mailed a ballot 29 days prior to the election. They may then choose to return their voted ballot by mail, using the included postage paid return envelope. Alternatively, they may also choose to appear at one of the Voter Centers in the County. At the time of developing this Election Administration Plan, the County expects to establish four Vote Centers (2 ten day vote centers and 2 two day vote centers). In addition, there will be an expected 3 ballot drop box sites that that will be available 28 day prior to the elections, where voters can return their ballot.
Vote Centers will operate similarly to polling places, allowing voters to cast their ballots in person, whether on paper or by utilizing an accessible ballot marking device. Voters can also cast their ballots or request and receive replacement ballots at any Vote Center countywide, and may also register or update their registration. Voters who have not registered prior to the close of registration (14 days prior to the election), will be able to Conditionally Register to Voter (CVR) at any Vote Center and cast a provisional ballot through Election Day.