Differences between two election ballots coming in the mail

Tiffany Olin Image
Friday, February 16, 2024
Differences between two election ballots coming in the mail
Election day is right around the corner and many voters have already received their ballots.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Election day is right around the corner, and many voters have already received their ballots.

Vote-by-mail ballots for the March 5th primary election were sent out at the beginning of the month.

"We've got our presidential election, our US senator, our full term congressional and assembly plus our city of Fresno and some local measures, including three countywide measures," Fresno County Clerk & Registrar of Voters James Kus said.

Voters have until March 5th at 8 pm to turn in this primary election ballot.

"We're using our regular color scheme for our envelopes for the presidential primary election, and that is a blue outgoing envelope and a light purple return envelope," Kus said.

If you live in the 20th congressional district, there's another ballot heading your way for a special primary election on March 19th.

District 20 includes parts of Kern, Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties.

This special primary election will determine who will replace former congressman Kevin McCarthy through the end of his term in January.

"These envelopes we're planning to use or are using for the March 19th election have a bright yellow outgoing delivery to the voter and then an orange return envelope, and then on this orange envelope, we also have artwork that matches the ballot artwork for the special election," Kus explained while showing the envelopes.

In Tulare County, there are about 65,300 registered voters within District 20.

"For the March 5th Primary election, you'll receive a purple envelope. For the March 19th special Congressional District 20 election, you will receive a green identification envelope," Tulare County Registrar of Voters Michelle Baldwin said.

Those vote-by-mail ballots are expected to be sent out next week and must be returned in the correct colored envelope by 8 pm March 19th.

If a ballot is placed in the wrong envelope, election centers will do their best to correct the issue.

"In some cases, we may just ask them, giving them another ballot and just asking them to fill it out again, but in a lot of cases, we're going to be able to ask them to come in, just verify information, maybe give us a signature and then we'll be able to count their ballot," Kus explained.

If a candidate gets the majority vote on March 19th, they will win the seat. But if there is no majority winner on the 19th, then the two candidates with the most votes will run against each other on May 21st.

Then, the majority winner of the May 21st election will fill McCarthy's empty seat through the end of the year.

If you are filling out both the March 5th primary and March 19th special primary ballots, you will see similar names.

The difference is the March 5th candidates are vying for the full-term congressional seat that starts in January, whereas the March 19th candidates are vying for the short-term congressional seat through the end of this year.

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