Elections|California’s elections main says voting is unfolding smoothly, contempt a charged environment.
With mendacious allegations of elector fraud trailing the California callback election, we checked successful with Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who oversees the state’s elections, astir however voting has progressed and however her bureau is dealing with efforts to undermine religion successful the contest. The interrogation has been lightly edited and condensed.
How is voting going?
We’ve seen implicit 8 cardinal ballots mailed backmost frankincense far, which is simply a precise important fig of ballots coming in. So that successful itself is alternatively exciting, arsenic good arsenic ballots inactive being dropped disconnected astatine the ballot boxes this morning.
We’ve had folks calling each of our hotlines asking wherever their polling places are oregon looking for further information. It’s wide that radical are funny successful voting today.
Why person radical been calling the hotlines?
Sometimes radical person acquainted polling places that they utilized to spell to everlastingly and present they’ve changed. We’ve had a mates of calls saying, “Where is it now?”
We’ve had folks who couldn’t find their ballots — misplaced them aft they came successful the mail. And we’ve had folks who near the authorities for a spot and wonderment however tin they inactive vote, those kinds of things.
But we’ve had nary agelong lines, nary folks waiting. We person a hold clip of zero close now.
Any different hitches today?
We’ve seen tiny things. One polling spot opening 10 minutes late, that benignant of stuff.
Because of the fires, we’ve had immoderate folks who moved distant from their places. So we person to woody with that issue. We had 1 region the telephones were not servicing. We’ve conscionable adapted and adjusted to each small caller happening that comes along. But we haven’t had thing that’s been a large shutdown.
For those facing difficulties due to the fact that of the wildfires, what other person you done?
We person made definite that each of those who were successful the occurrence zones got their mail-in ballots.
We made definite that those who had to permission oregon who’ve mislaid their homes, that they had entree to voting successful assorted different ways, successful presumption of being capable to spell to different region to vote, making definite they had their mail-in ballots, making definite they knew wherever the ballot boxes were successful different counties oregon different areas. So we person made outreach to each of those who mightiness person been affected by immoderate occurrence oregon immoderate benignant of tragedy.
We besides acceptable up distant mobile voting for our firefighters to marque definite that those who are distant from their homes had entree to vote.
How are you preparing your bureau for the claims and imaginable litigation of predetermination fraud that Republicans accidental they whitethorn bring?
I deliberation the full treatment of fraud crossed the federation benignant of gives america a preview of what radical volition do. They whitethorn record assorted lawsuits. We cognize that they person been trying to cod accusation — they acceptable up a website saying, ‘If you spot immoderate irregularities, amusement america your irregularities.’ And, you know, radical spell to court, and frankincense acold crossed the nation, they’ve mislaid due to the fact that determination is nary wide fraud successful the predetermination process. But whether they determine to spell to tribunal oregon not, we volition beryllium determination to support the process.
We cognize that they volition ever speech astir the information that it was a stolen predetermination oregon fraud, — oregon there’s a caller term, “shenanigans.” We person nary grounds of that, and erstwhile we’ve had allegations of immoderate type, particularly if there’s immoderate circumstantial information, we investigated. And arsenic astir folks person recovered crossed the nation, determination is nary determination there.
So we’re not wholly freaking out. We’re conscionable making definite that everything we bash is close by the book. That we’ve taken our clip to marque definite that there’s transparency. And frankincense far, we’ve not recovered thing ourselves.
Are determination other steps of transparency that you’ve taken successful this hyperpartisan epoch erstwhile the process itself is contested?
We bash what we’ve ever done. This is simply a unsocial predetermination arsenic a recall. But support successful mind, we’ve had 4 oregon 5 elections this year, peculiar elections, arsenic good arsenic past November.
Anytime we observe thing that mightiness beryllium an country of concern, we bash our champion to marque definite that we enactment that up. If we observe that idiosyncratic is complaining that the signs are excessively small, they couldn’t truly spot a motion astatine a voting booth, we effort to marque definite that adjacent time, we bash more. If folks consciousness disenfranchised due to the fact that of language, if there’s capable folks successful that community, we marque definite that we summation the fig of languages and marque definite that those languages are clear.
And truthful it’s not similar we are gearing up due to the fact that Mr. Elder says thing oregon idiosyncratic other says something. We are alert that the question of fraud oregon questions of transparency are constant. And, arsenic I question to antithetic registrars’ offices, I spot them responding to antithetic issues, similar making definite that there’s abstraction that radical tin observe the opening of ballots.
When I was successful 1 area, they had fundamentally created pathways for folks to beryllium capable to bash that. So those are the kinds of things that we respond to each the clip to marque definite that those who privation to physique issues of transparency and fairness person an accidental to bash so.