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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

NPP voters requesting crossover ballots: How are we prepared?

May 28, 2016 - We've been detailing for some time now about the facts surrounding NPP voters (how are poll workers are actually trained, what options and rights NPP voters have, etc.). So how are we prepared for NPP voters requesting crossover ballots? We are one of only two counties in California that can use electronic voting equipment, which means that there is an infinite supply of ballots in the polling place.

If an NPP requests a crossover ballot (and they are currently registered AND in the correct polling place) they will NOT be given a provisional ballot - instead they will be provided a crossover ballot for the party they choose. These ballots, other than being called crossover, are like any other ballot and voted the same way.

What if a voter prefers a paper ballot? We have those too - in fact we have printed three times as many paper crossover ballots as compared to our regular paper back up ballots. California law requires that counties provide "5 %" of the total registration in a polling place as paper back ups - we are providing nearly 30%. Thank you for taking the time to become informed.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Avoid misinformation: Get the facts on NPP voters

May 27, 2016 - It’s a good idea for voters to receive their information from their local elections official – this will provide the most accurate information when it comes to options and rights for NPP voters. We have been messaging for months on exactly what kinds of options are available for these voters. When you look at it in detail we have had well over 1.8 million impressions (when you take into account sample ballot communication). Want more information? Give us a call (714-567-7600), chat with us online, or check out our comprehensive NPP information on our website.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Orange County's Voting Tip of the Day: Be careful to not include two ballots in your envelope

May 24, 2016 - It's important to remind voters to only include their voted ballot in the ballot return envelope (not additional ballots). Occasionally we receive two ballots in one return envelope - and it almost always is the ballot of the spouse, significant other, child, etc. When two are included it's impossible to determine which ballot should be applied to the voter in the household. To be fair, this is a very small number, but it is our desire to ensure that every vote is counted - take a moment to review that you've only included the ballot you have voted in your return envelope.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

What happens when a voter in California does not select a party on their registration form?

May 24, 2016 - This is a question we receive quite often - especially from voters who only vote once every few years. When a voter fills out a registration form, one of the questions asked (in fact it's #14 on the California form) is "Do you want to register with a political party?". There are 8 possible answers, including major and minor parties, as well as declining to affiliate with a party (known as "No Party Preference, or NPP").

But what happens if nothing is selected? Under California law (Elections Code section 2154(b)) states that if "no party preference is shown, it shall be determined that the affiant has declined to disclose a party preference", which means they are categorized as NPP. The voter is sent a Voter Notification Card letting them know that they have been registered as an NPP voter. On the card there are instructions for verifying this information, or how to change the categorization if desired.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Detailed analysis (with help from MIT) used to determine voting booth allocation for Election Day

May 20, 2016 - As the June Primary rapidly approaches, we have been busy analyzing data in order to determine the right number of voting booths per polling location. Since 2007 we have used extensive turnout history and data to customize the number of booths at each site (to match the level of demand).

Now we are taking it one step further with some help from the brainpower at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We used our current methodology first:

  1. Voters who voted at the polls in the Primary of 2012, multiplied by 1.9 to account for a similar percentage of turnout for the Primary 2008 Election.
  2. Registered voters, multiplied by .6 to account for 60% turnout of all registered voters.
  3. To account for the turnout per hour, we divided the projected turnout by 8 hours. Although there are 13 voting hours, we used 8 to account for higher turnout times of the day.
  4. To determine the time it takes to vote, we did an internal time test with 28 voters, and used the average time (5 minutes).

Then we incorporated our analysis into the MIT spreadsheet that was developed to assist election officials with determining the optimum number of booths per site (to ensure the highest possible service times):

  1. We set a desired wait time for voters to be 5 minutes, with a 90% service level (meaning that 90% of all voters would be able to vote within 5 minutes).
  2. We then entered the data from our analysis to determine the number of voting booths needed, with the above numbers as the input.
  3. According to the results, any polling place that required over 8 booths, we allocated 12 booths. Any polling place that required 8 booths or under, we allocated 8 booths.

This level of increased analysis allows us to target specific polling places (on a granular level) where demand for in-person voting is expected to be higher, reducing the likelihood of long wait times. We will be collecting additional data on Election Day to assist us in further refining this process for November.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Here are some facts about our year long effort to ensure rights and options are clear for NPP voters

May 19, 2016 - We feel clarity and balanced facts are critical to the election process. In fact, we believe this is the cornerstone to fair and balanced elections. This is precisely why we have spent well over a year planning our poll worker training materials to ensure that the rights and options are clear for all voters. Take for instance our training on No Party Preference voters, otherwise referred to as "NPP".  These voters have three options:

And our poll worker training materials - detailed and informative - clearly communicate to poll workers how to process NPP voters.  You can view for yourself the wealth of information we've published for our poll workers at ocvote.com/resources.

Finally, we've made a detailed and focused video describing the NPP training and options for voters - in just 2-minutes you'll see the facts - check it out here:

https://youtu.be/uL8roc8b6tM

Happy voting!

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Orange County's Voting Tip of the Day: Extra marks on your ballot could give up your right to a secret ballot

May 18, 2016 - When you vote your vote-by-mail ballot you should avoid writing anything on your ballot that could identify you, such as your phone number, initials, name, etc. Why is this important? First, we should clarify that your ballot will still count - regardless of the marks you make on your ballot, we will still count your vote.

However, when you do this we have to manually duplicate your ballot, which means that your ballot is set aside so that it can be manually transferred to another ballot. This is required so that the ballot can scan properly - when this happens your vote could be tied to you as an individual - and we stress that it's always important to maintain your right to a secret ballot. So remember, when you mark your ballot only mark the boxes for the candidates of your choice!

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Supplemental sample ballots continue to head out to OC voters

May 18, 2016 - Sample ballots are mailed out daily to voters throughout Orange County. But why are these mailings continuiung daily? We mailed 1.5 million sample ballots on April 28th. These were mailed to registered voters throughout the County in advance of our mailing of vote-by-mail ballots. What happens daily now are mailings to new voters and voters who have re-registered. Voter registration closes on May 23rd, so every new registered voter through the 23rd must receive a sample ballot. These mailings will continue through next week.

Here are the numbers in the last few days:

25,510 mailed in the last few days to voters who have re-registered
40,817 mailed to new voters who are getting a sample ballot for the first time 

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Our hours, contact info and more to make your voting experience a breeze!

May 13, 2016 - if you need to get in touch with us or just need a bit of help we are standing by to assist. We have made it easy to get in touch - call us at 714-567-7600 (8am to 5pm, M-F) and one of our representatives will happy to help.  Prefer not to talk?  Our popular chat feature can save you time - agents are standing by here http://bit.ly/1qinl0H

Planning to vote, or need help during the weekend before Election Day?  We will be open on Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th from 8am to 5pm both days (telephone, chat or in person at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana).  Happy voting!

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

So what parties have voters re-registered with since January.

May 12, 2016 - We posted yesterday the party ballots that No Party Preference voters have requested since January. But what about people who have re-registered and selected a different party?  There has been a lot of activity since January 1st of this year - here is the breakdown:

American Independent - 841

Democratic - 9,374

Green - 44

Libertarian - 289

No Party Preference - 4,745

Peace and Freedom - 60

Republican - 11,431

All of these voters were previously registered with a party or were declared as No Party Preference.  

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