Election Officials Warn Against Sanitizing Ballots

Image of man dropping ballot off at North Natomas Library while security guard looks on.

A man drops his vote-by-mail ballot off at a drop box at the North Natomas Library over the weekend. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

With vote-by-mail now underway in Sacramento County, local election officials are warning voters against sanitizing their ballots.

Image of a sign which reads "Vote by Mail" with a ballot drop off box visible in the background.

Ballot drop boxes can be found at Raley’s and both Bel Air stores in Natomas. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

A handful of Sacramento County voters have already ruined their ballots when attempting to sanitize them. High alcohol content liquid, like hand sanitizer, smears the ink on the ballot, rendering it unreadable to election tabulation machines.

“We were able to provide them with a new ballot and void the ruined one so they could still vote,” Sacramento County spokesperson Janna Haynes said.

“Voters do not need to be wary of COVID-19 exposure on their ballot paper or any of the contents inside their mailed envelope,” Haynes explained. “Not only is the risk of exposure on a paper surface low, the ballot paper inside your mailer has been untouched for at least a week from the time it was stuffed, taken to USPS and in transit to your mailbox.”

Vote-by-mail ballots were mailed last week to all Sacramento County registered voters for the Nov. 3 general election. Ballot drop boxes also became available countywide starting Oct. 5 and will remain available through Election Day.

Voters may use any official drop box in the county to return their vote-by-mail ballots. No postage is necessary for those voters who chose to return their ballots by U.S. Mail, using the pink vote-by-mail envelope.

Elections officials remind voters to sign their pink vote-by-mail envelope in order for their ballot to be counted.

Voters may also cast their ballot in person at voting centers open for up to 11 days, including Election Day.

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​​​Key Dates

Oct. 5 – Mailing of ballots to all registered voters begins and voted ballots may be returned in any of the ballot drop boxes located throughout Sacramento County
Oct. 19 – Close of voter registration for the Nov. 3, 2020 Presidential General Election. Register online at https://registertovote.ca.gov/
Oct. 20 – Conditional voter registration begins
Oct. 24 – 11 Day Vote Centers open
Oct. 27 – Last day a vote-by-mail ballot can be mailed to you
Oct. 31 – All vote centers open throughout Sacramento County, including both libraries in Natomas
Nov. 3 – Election Day

For more information, visit www.elections.saccounty.net.

Image of man wearing a mask sitting in chair adjacent to ballot drop box.

Election volunteer Richard Ward, a Natomas resident, monitors the ballot drop box at the South Natomas Library. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

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