Voters Dropped from Registrar’s Rolls

  • Chief Randy Coleman discovered his voter registration was invalidated. He had to call to clear up the matter so he can vote.

    Chief Randy Coleman discovered his voter registration was invalidated. He had to call to clear up the matter so he can vote.

Do you wish to vote? You may want to call today to be sure you can: (661) 868-3590

By Patric Hedlund

The Kern County Registrar of Elections removes voters from its lists daily in a routine update of the rolls. Two advocates of Tax Measure K—one who registered in Pine Mountain for the first time and one who has been registered there for years—learned by accident this month that they had been removed from local voting rolls. The problems were corrected by calls to the Kern County Board of Elections (868-3590).

All voters may wish to make that call today to learn if there has been an unexpected change in your voting status, those who attended a meeting Friday, Oct. 10 about Measure K were told.

Chief Randy Coleman (retired from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department) registered to vote in Pine Mountain recently. He has been an advocate of a firefighter paramedic program for the Kern County Fire Department, starting with Measure K. When his absentee ballot did not arrive he called to ask why.

In an interview Friday, Oct. 10 Coleman said that although he had given his mailing address on the form, the registrar sent his voter confirmation card to his Pine Mountain street address—but mail is not delivered to street addresses in Pine Mountain, so the card was returned as undeliverable and his registration was invalidated. Fortunately, there was enough time for him to call to get this situation corrected.

Elections Chief for Kern County Sandy Brockman said, “If that happened it was a clerical error.” She checked Coleman’s registration and said there was an additional problem. The online form which he used to register was not her official form. She said it failed to ask him his place of birth and the last four digits of his social security number (or California driver’s license number, either one). She said that the best form to use is (click on voter registration). You can fill it out and then mail it in. Forms are also available at the post office and at the Pine Mountain Clubhouse office.

Frances Durocher, another Measure K advocate, was watching for her absentee ballot. She called the registrar to find out when it would be sent. She was surprised to learn she had been removed from the Kern County roll. She said the DMV had found a San Fernando address for her, so she had been removed.

“I explained to them that at one time I had been on the title of my daughter’s car and she sold it in April. That should have nothing to do with me being able to vote here. They corrected the error on the computer and said the ballot would be sent to my address here,” Durocher wrote in an email reply to this reporter’s question.

Because Measure K requires a 2/3 majority to pass, small uncorrected errors in the voters roll could make a major impact on the success or failure of the initiative for a paramedic program, Durocher said.

“At first I thought it was a conspiracy and blamed it on [someone] not wanting my vote for Measure K,” Durocher said, “Not so. But it doesn’t hurt to call and find out if you are in the system.”

Brockman said in an interview Monday, Oct. 13, “The National Voter Registration Act required a statewide voter registration database. They do a match with DMV. I’ve seen a child going away to college put in a change of address, and the post office changes the whole family,” so the voters in the home lose their registration. Those who move, even a short distance, may also run into a snag on election day.

When asked if people should call right now to confirm their voting status, Brockman said, “I would.”

October 20 is the last day to register to vote. October 28 is the last day to request an absentee ballot. The election is on November 4. Coleman and Durocher suggest that all voters take a moment to make the call, just to be sure.

This is part of the October 17, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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