Ballots Arrive Before Candidate's Statements and Voter Materials
By Monie de Wit, candidate for Santa Barbara Unified School Board
On Tuesday (9/29/20) many registered voters from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria received their official ballots to vote.
The problem is that according to the California Official Voter Information Guide, October 5th is the date that Counties will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots.
Why is this a problem?
The issue is Joseph Holland had printed and released ballots that were mailed out on 9/28 to Santa Barbara County which includes Santa Maria and they have received their official Ballot to vote a full week before the October 5th release date .
Registered voters however have not received the voter information and candidates statements that Santa Barbara County Candidates have paid thousands of dollars to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office to print and send to voters before release of voting ballots. This leaves Voters with ballots in their hands with no information about candidates or their positions. This clearly favors any incumbents as most people without information just vote the incumbent or leave it blank.
Challengers are at at disadvantage. For example challengers including myself, Monie De Wit have paid thousands of dollars to have Couty Elections Office to publish and deliver these have not sent them to voters in advance of the official ballots.
I am a Candidate for Santa Barbara Unified School District Board who paid 5,302.00 to file my information statement. The Santa Barbara Elections office has possibly broken election laws with their lack of following the required process.
Any candidate that has paid for their statements should demand a full refund at minimum.
In receiving the ballots a week early, voters are already voting without receiving any voter information or Candidate's statements in Santa Barbara County.
Candidates paid for statements published by the Santa Barbara County Elections office which did not arrive in advance of the ballots which is unprecedented and questionable.
This is a violation of the Ca Voter Bill of Rights and should be reported to the secretary of State Elections investigations office.
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