County Elections Office Mistakes Draw Attention, Criticism

Several recent Sacramento County elections office sample ballot booklets have contained notable errors and omissions.

Sacramento County, like other counties, contracts with cities in order to keep the cost of things like voting machines and personnel down.

The sample ballots that are mailed out prior to an election also go through the county election office. Noteworthy errors have popped up in the past year in the booklets of the cities of Sacramento, Galt, and Rancho Cordova.

The Sacramento city election booklet omitted the statement of a Sacramento City Council candidate as well as the Democratic Party’s list of endorsed candidates.

Rancho Cordova’s saw a mix up in the arguments in favor of and against a tax measure.

And the Galt City Council race used incorrect information about the ballot order, this race also saw an incumbent councilmember lose by a narrow margin.

Shifting focus onto the Elections Office, Jill Lavine is the county’s longtime Registrar of Voters with over a decade of service at this point. While Lavine claims to have discussed and resolved the previously mentioned problems, Sacramento’s City Clerk Shirley Concolino disagrees. Mentioning how Lavine is, “not the most competent,” she brought up another issue around petition signature review.

Concolino and other city officials have since gone to the county’s Board of Supervisors to complain. The clerks also mentioned how these sort of errors were avoided more consistently when Brad Buyse worked in the elections office. Buyse had 30 years in the elections office and most recently worked as the campaign services manager. He retired this year saying he could no longer tolerate Lavine’s management of the office. Another elections employee, Jennifer Little, also departed the office after 11 years while indicting Lavine and another manager in her resignation letter.

For further reading on the elections issues in Sac County, see here.

Image Credit: Flickr User brendan-c, via (CC BY 2.0)


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