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5 frequently asked ballot questions answered by Sacramento County election officials

From what to do if you spill something on your ballot to what you can do if you still haven't received your ballot, Sacramento County election officials explain.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — As the election gets closer, ABC10's election expert Janna Haynes, a spokesperson for Sacramento County Elections, is answering frequently asked questions voters have written in to ABC10.

Q: If I use a drop box, does it have to be in the same county where I’m registered? 

Haynes: “All of the registrar offices across the state actually have an agreement that they will round up ballots that belong to other counties and send them on their way. So you actually can drop your ballot in any drop box in the state.” 

Q: I still haven’t received my ballot yet. Where is it? 

Haynes told ABC10 to first go online to double-check your registration address. 

Haynes: “If it is correct and it’s been 10 days and you haven’t received your ballot, I would call your local elections office and ask them to issue you a new one. In the event that the old one also comes, that one will be voided in the system and you can vote the new one.” 

Q: My grandson is disabled and never voted. Can I, as his grandmother, vote for him? 

Haynes said yes, but there’s some paperwork you’ll need to fill out on the elections website first. If that’s not an option, every voter center has a special disability accessibility machine.

Haynes: “It helps people that may have a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a writing utensil or a person that has a visual disability that wants to have their ballot read to them."

Q: What happens if the store where I dropped my ballot off has to close because of a possible coronavirus outbreak? 

Haynes: “We will certainly go collect all of those ballots and process them just like we would for any other ballot box."

Q: Should I sanitize my ballot before sending it in? 

Haynes: “Rubbing a high alcohol liquid on a paper that has ink will ruin it, it will smear it making it unreadable."

The election office says they’ve dealt with other ballots already spoiled by things other than hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, like coffee, wine, and even ketchup.

If you make that mistake before turning it in, you can swing by the election office to pick up a new one. 

If you turn it in as-is, it does not get thrown out. The election office has a team of officials dedicated to duplicating those ballots in a fresh one and spoiling the old one.

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