Early voting started Monday in California, but some voters in Alameda County say they’re still waiting on critical materials they need to cast their ballots.
It seems ballot drop boxes, voter information guides and even ballots have not all been delivered yet and some say they are already feeling like their right to vote is being suppressed.
The west Oakland library was supposed to be a polling place on November 3 but because of the pandemic it won’t be instead a ballot drop box is supposed to be stationed here but so far it hasn’t shown up.
“If this county is really serious about ensuring everyone has access to a vote then we need to have the facilities and tools to be able to do that,” said Carol Fife.
The community activist and candidate for Oakland City Council said she’s troubled that early voting has started but a ballot drop box still hasn’t been installed in their West Oakland neighborhood.
“I think it’s voter suppression,” Fife said. “That's what I’m hearing from people in the district. They are concerned about what’s happening.”
She isn’t the only person worried. Alameda County voter Kay Diack says she has yet to receive her ballot or Alameda County voter information guide
“If early voting started Monday, we should have already had all our material. We shouldn’t have to wait for it,” she said.
But Tim Dupuis of the Alameda County Registrar of Voters says the material is on the way. He says the county wasn’t allowed to start mailing out ballots until this week. Under state mandate, Dupuis said the county had to order an additional 38 ballot drop boxes which should be arriving this week.
The county will update their map of drop box locations as each box is installed. With the pandemic underway, the registrar says this is an extraordinary election and residents need to be patient.
Frustrated voters say they’re anxious to ensure their vote is counted.
“This is the United States of America people expect to be part of the democratic process,” said Fife.