Registrar of voters says county should transition to vote-by-mail this November


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County registrar of voters is backing an idea to make the November election 100 percent vote-by-mail.

In a Bakersfield Californian op-ed, Bedard said support for in-person voting is “exactly the wrong approach” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead she’s calling on the governor to “…issue an executive order authorizing 100 percent vote-by-mail while encouraging counties to make in-person voting opportunities available in a manner consistent with public health and safety.”

She noted the governor already issued a similar executive order for special elections next month, adding vote-by-mail would not be difficult in Kern County, where more than 70 percent of the ballots cast during the March 3rd primary election were vote-by-mail.

President Trump has said he would support vote-by-mail for the elderly and those with health conditions, but otherwise, he believes it could lead to voter fraud.

“All of the things that are happening with votes by mail — where thousands of votes are gathered and I’m not going to say which party does it — thousands of votes are gathered in one location, and you lose an election you think you’re going to win,” Trump said during an April 8 press conference. “I won’t stand for it.”

17 News Republican Political Analyst Cathy Abernathy agreed.

“The politicians are looking for any excuse to change the rules. If people want to vote at the polls, that should continue. We’ve been doing it for years,” she said.

“To have government employees and this governor trying to tell us we have to change our rules again, no. The rules they have changed — even the county elections department admits — it makes [the election have] more chaos. If you have deadlines, everything works fine. If you allow sloppiness, you get what we get in these elections.”

Bedard said her office will bring a resolution before the Kern County Board of Supervisors next week, recommending Kern County join with other counties asking Gov. Newsom to issue the executive order.

Thursday marked 201 days until general election day, Nov. 3, 2020.

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