MADERA — Rebecca Martinez, Madera County clerk-recorder and registrar of voters, has responded to Governor Gavin Newsome’s executive order, issued on May 8, regarding the November 3 General Election. “The Governor’s action requires that all registered voters be issued a vote by mail ballot for the upcoming general election,” Martinez saaid. “This will be business as usual for Madera County voters.”
In 2018, Martinez chose to implement the Voter’s Choice Act in Madera County. As such, since the June 2018 primary election, every registered voter was sent a vote by mail ballot, which included return postage.
In addition to vote by mail ballots, the registrar deployed Vote Centers throughout the county where voters can vote in-person, turn in a vote by mail ballot or get assistance with the voting process.
“In the coming days the state will be developing the criteria for offering in-person voting options in November,” stated Martinez. “Rest assured that Madera County will offer in-person voting for those who, for whatever reason, choose not to vote by mail. What is not certain is how many vote centers will be open, where they will be located and the days and hours of operation.”
The governor’s executive order requires that the secretary of state and election officials develop plans for in-person voting and announce those plans in the near future. Martinez indicates that the most difficult challenges with opening vote centers during the COVID-19 pandemic are: identifying an adequate number of poll workers who are willing to work, identifying facilities willing to host a vote center and ensuring adequate safety measures in vote centers.
“As always, I will not rest until I know that every registered voter has been offered an adequate opportunity to vote,” said Martinez. “This includes the opportunity to vote by mail or in-person, to receive language assistance and the opportunity to utilize accessible voting equipment. I am hopeful that the November Presidential Election will bring forth more voters who want to exercise their rights and have their voices heard.”