Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who oversees state elections, tells Secretary of State Shirley Weber about the progress of the vote and how her office is trying to undermine confidence in the contest following a false allegation of fraudulent voting following California’s recall. I confirmed that I was working on. The interview has been lightly edited and summarized.
How about voting?
To date, over 8 million ballots have been returned, which is a huge number. As such, it’s pretty exciting in itself, and ballots are being dropped into the ballot box this morning as well.
We have people who call all hotlines to ask where the polling place is or to look for additional information. It is clear that people are interested in voting today.
Why are people calling the hotline?
Sometimes people had a familiar polling place they used to go forever, and now they have changed. There were several phone calls asking “Where are you now?”
Some people couldn’t find the ballot — they misplaced them after they came by mail. And there are people who have left the state for a while and are wondering how they can still vote.
But we didn’t have a long line and no one was waiting. Currently, the wait time is zero.
Are there any other issues today?
We have seen small things. Some polling stations open 10 minutes late. That’s it.
Due to the fire, we had some people who moved away from their place. Therefore, you need to address that issue. There was one county where the phone did not serve. We have adapted and adjusted for all the little new things that are coming. However, nothing has resulted in a major shutdown.
What else did you do for those who are facing difficulties due to wildfires?
We ensure that everyone at the fire department receives the mail ballot.
We allow people who have to leave or have lost their homes to vote in various other ways, in that they can go to other counties to vote, and have a mail ballot box. Make sure they are, make sure they know where the ballot boxes are in other counties or areas. That’s why we worked with all those who could have been affected by the fire and all sorts of tragedy.
We have also set up remote mobile voting so that firefighters can vote for people who are away from home.
How do you prepare your office for possible fraudulent election claims and proceedings that the Republicans may bring?
I think the whole discussion of national fraud gives us a preview of what people do. They may file various proceedings. We know they are trying to collect information — they stand on a website that says, “If you find any irregularities, show us your irregularities.” raised. And, as you know, people go to court, and so far they have lost because there is no widespread fraud in the election process across the country. But whether they decide to go to court or not, we are there to protect the process.
We know that they always discuss the fact that it was a stolen election or scam — or there is a new term “Shenanigan”. There is no proof of that. We investigated any allegations of any kind, especially if there was specific information. And, as most people have found all over the country, it’s not there.
So we are not completely surprised. We only make sure that everything we do is correct by the book. I took the time to make sure it was transparent. And so far we haven’t found anything ourselves.
Are there any additional steps you took in transparency in this bipartisan era when the process itself is contested?
We do what we always do. This is a unique election as a recall. But keep in mind that this year there were four to five elections, special elections, and last November.
Whenever we discover something that may be of concern, we will do our best to ensure that it is supported. If they found someone complaining that the sign was too small, they couldn’t actually see the sign at the voting booth. I try to do more next time. If people feel deprived of their rights because of a language, and if there are enough people in the community, we increase the number of languages and make sure they are clear.
So we’re not preparing because the elder says something or someone else says something. We recognize that there are always fraud and transparency issues. Also, if you go to the offices of various registrars, you will find that they are dealing with various problems such as making space for observing the opening of ballots.
When I was in one area, they were basically creating a route to allow people to do it. So these are the kind we are always working on to ensure that those who want to build the issue of transparency and fairness have the opportunity to do so.