County elections officials gear up for March 5 primary, as ballots get mailed

California’s primary election is set for March 5, Super Tuesday. 

Fourteen other states and one territory will also vote on this day. Voting has already started around the state, as some early voting sites have opened and county elections officials have started to mail ballots to all registered voters. 

"We’ve sent approximately 709,000 ballots out to every single registered voter," said Kristin Connelly, Contra Costa County’s clerk-recorder and registrar of voters. "We started with our military and overseas voters. We anticipate the rest of Contra Costa will get their ballots tomorrow and Wednesday."

As voters weigh their options in local, state and national races, Connelly’s team will test sample ballots of logic and accuracy and make sure their machines all function properly. Access to equipment is tight, and cybersecurity measures are in place. 

Amid misinformation about elections software and integrity, elections officials are emphasizing that voting is safe, secure and transparent. "Elections officials like me, all across the country, work day in and day out, on a nonpartisan basis," said Connelly. "To make sure every vote counts and every voter can have a high degree of trust."

That’s part of why Contra Costa County expanded its 'certified election observer program,’ where the public can get a front row seat to the process. 

"Provides 12 to 14 hours of information to hear from our elections experts, come into our office, watch every process and get every question answered, so you can become a real elections expert."

Your mail-in ballots must be postmarked by March 5 and received by March 12. If you want to vote in-person, there are a number of options leading up to and on Election Day. 

Connelly is urging "no party preference" voters to take action if they want to vote in a presidential primary. "If you’re a no-party preference voter, you will not have presidential candidates on your ballot if you have not requested a different kind of ballot," said Connelly. "We’ve sent about 156,000 postcards to our NPP voters, we’ve only heard back from about 8,000 so far."


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