Voters will head to the polls on June 3 to cast their ballots for California State Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General and their local County Supervisor. To hold a fair and structured countywide election there is a lot that goes into the preparation. While we often see ballot counting on TV, there are months of advanced organizing of individual polling locations – 505 in total – testing of voting machines, preparing polling locations, hiring and training temporary workers, as well as the writing, proofing and printing of all the ballot materials.
“Our office is busy all year preparing for Election Day,” said Jill LaVine, Director of the Department of Voter Registration and Elections. “We are the only office that swells by 2,700 employees in two days. I guess you could also say we have the most satellite offices of any County department.”
One of the most important tools of a successful election is the four to six Precinct Officers assigned to run each polling place. Each of the 2,400 officers will have completed a two and a half hour training course. Roughly 70 percent of the polling locations will also have an officer fluent in Spanish.
The 505 polling stations across Sacramento County will not only need precinct officers, but these locations will also require voting booths, tables, extension cords, signs, ropes and various other materials that must be driven to each site one week prior to the election, using nine delivery trucks. By the end of the three days of deliveries, the trucks will have driven enough miles to make it from Sacramento to Cleveland, Ohio.
Before the voting supplies can be delivered to the polling sites, they must be tested; that includes all 3,000 voting booths, scanners and various other machines. When the machines are returned after the election, they are individually wiped down and cleaned before being returned to storage.
As part of the MOVE act, or Military Overseas Voter Empowerment act, the Department sends ballots to overseas military soldiers prior to election. This gives soldiers a voice in their local government while they are away serving their country.
Take a behind the scenes look at election preparations.
To vote, register by May 19 for the Primary Election on June 3. Learn more at the Department of Voter Registration and Elections website. Also, learn about the SacVote app.
Writer: Kaitlin Bane, Communication and Media Intern