Officials describe Riverbank's new election process

local@modbee.comMay 11, 2013 

— Riverbank is diverging from tradition in using a private vendor to conduct the June 4 special election, but voters might not notice much difference.

The city hired Gladwell Governmental Services of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County, one of the firms certified by the California secretary of state's office to run elections.

The Stanislaus County election office, which usually handles the process, declined because of a dispute over whether the Riverbank vote was called before the state-mandated deadline.

Gladwell will do much of the work the same way as the county, City Manager Jill Anderson said. The only major difference will be that the ballots will be counted by hand in Riverbank on election night, rather than by machine at the county office in Modesto.

Details on the process:

Sample ballots were mailed Monday, providing information on the candidates, locations of polling places and more.

The sample ballots include applications to vote by mail. Residents who are permanent by-mail voters are receiving their ballots about now.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 4. They are at Christ the King Episcopal Church, St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church, the Riverbank Community Center and a vacant suite next to Men's Wearhouse in the Crossroads Shopping Center.

Ballots will be counted after 8 p.m. June 4 at the community center. The process is public. It will done by hand because machine counting would have cost about $20,000, Anderson said.

Processing of provisional ballots, those cast by voters whose status was in question, will start June 6. They must be matched with voter registration information provided by the county.

Anderson said she does not yet have an estimate of the total election cost, but expects it will not exceed the $57,000 budgeted.

More information is at (209) 863-7122 or www.riverbank.org. This includes registering to vote, which must be done by May 20 for the special election.

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