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October 22, 2020

South Monterey County leaders encourage use of ballot boxes

SALINAS VALLEY — Ballot drop boxes have appeared in recent weeks at both city hall and library locations throughout the Salinas Valley, with some being indoors and others outdoors.

Greenfield Mayor Lance Walker took to social media on Oct. 11 to let voters in South Monterey County know that the ballot boxes are secure.

“Let me assure you, this ballot box is totally safe,” Walker said. He added, “The people who don’t trust it being here obviously don’t trust the County of Monterey or City of Greenfield. These ballot boxes are all throughout Monterey County. They are totally safe and withstand the weather and being vandalized.”

According to Gonzales City Manager Rene Mendez, the ballot boxes are in a “secure and monitored location.”

“They are also locked and only County election staff has access to the ballots in the box,” Mendez said. “They are the only ones that check the boxes.”

County elections staff will come by less frequently at first, Mendez said, but the closer to the election, the elections officials might check boxes multiple times per week. He said cities would be notified by the county of these checks.

The city hall and library locations have been chosen for their familiarity, Mendez said. For outdoor locations, such as Greenfield, voters can show up with the ballots anytime. For indoor locations, such as Gonzales, they must wait for office hours.

In addition to addressing safety concerns, Walker reminded every voter to turn in their ballots.

“Vote your conscience. Do your due diligence and research and do your homework on candidates,” Walker said. “Please vote; it’s an honor and privilege.”

Mendez said the local ballot box locations are significant to have a community drop-off point without having to travel to Salinas.

The last day to return ballots in person is Tuesday, Nov. 3, the day of the election. If returning by mail, ballots must be postmarked no later than this date, as well.


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Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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