SLO mail-in ballots contain error

June 1, 2016

voteThe envelopes delivered with San Luis Obispo County vote-by-mail ballots incorrectly instruct voters, “Mail early. Postmarks do not count.” After a change in state law, vote-by-mail ballots will now be counted if they are postmarked on election day and reach elections officials within the following three days. [Tribune]

County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong said the error occurred because of a miscommunication between his office and the ballot printers. SLO County elections officials placed ballots in the mail on May 9, but the error went unnoticed until Tuesday.

Gong said the county will not issue new ballot envelopes for the June 7 primary, but vote-by-mail ballots will be counted in accordance with the new law. Still, Gong said it is preferred to turn in ballots, earlier, rather than later.

This election cycle, about 100,000 SLO County voters are registered to vote by mail, a record for the county.


Mine said, “vote early, vote often”, And if you are 16 illegals living in the same home, you are a voting block.No confusion whatsoever.


Sure do miss Julie Rodewald’s consistent attention to detail. Was a sad day when she retired. Just can’t imagine this kind of “miscommunication” happening under her watch.


Question Two: What about people who may be indecisive on something, wait until election day, then trash the ballot when they realize it’s too late? Could not a close election be challenged?


“Miscommunication between his office and the printer”? You mean your office sent the wrong information to the printer and then missed it again on the proof. And why can’t this job be appointed by the BOS instead of being a very expensive election prize where there are no political issues? This is not a political job like Sheriff, DA or Tax Assessor. Hell, I’d go for electing the Development or Public Works directors before the Clerk Recorder.



You are spreading incorrect information. The law requires that they be postmarked by election day AND received within 3days.

Why are you speaking as if you know otherwise?

Why are you spreading confusion?

This is important and intentionally providing misinformation for an election is inappropriate.

Please know before you speak.


Bad idea. Mail from some area with a known inclination to lean to a particular side of the political spectrum could be “delayed” a day or so (Los Dose-os and Paso come to mind). This is like if the IRS charged you penalties if your April 15 postmarked return shows up April 19.

Jeanne Blackwell

Saying all ballots postmarked on election day will be counted and then put a time limit on when the ballots are received and will be counted is sending mixed messages. All postmarked ballots will be counted is more accurate and the legal definition of what is required by law to be counted. Our mail goes to Santa Barbara and then back here. Sometimes that can take as long as 5 days. So are those ballots postmarked by election but arrive on the 4th or 5th day going to be counted?

They sure as hell better be because a postmarked ballot is what qualifies the ballot to be counted and not when it was received which we have no control over.

So we better have a ruling on this issue before it becomes a federal case. I guess Mr. Gong will be the one to ask about this. Is he going to count all the ballots postmarked by election day or only those arriving within 3 days?


Remember Julie retired it is now the Gong show.


You have obviously set your expectations far too high when it comes to government.

In other news: Good Job, Tommy! Way to rock that new job!


I voted for the Gong. I thought I was voting for Tommy Chong. My bad.


Increased “miscommunications” in the workplace are inevitable to become commonplace when the use of cannibis becomes mainstream.

Mitch C

I have full faith in the professional manner elections are conducted in San Luis Obispo County.


You go Mitch, but you won’t catch me pledging allegiance to the County of San Luis Obispo.


That’s not the only error on the mail-in ballot. Whoever wrote the instructions doesn’t know the difference between “i.e.” and “e.g.” As I recall, the part of the instructions regarding voting for one candidate per office uses “i.e.” instead of “e.g.” in the example of cases in which more than one choice is allowed, thus instructing the voter to do precisely the opposite of what is intended.

I already mailed my ballot, otherwise I would use the exact wording that is printed, so this explanation is not as complete as I otherwise could have done here. (If someone still has their ballot, could you please post the actual wording here for the benefit of the CCN readership? Thanks.)

Bottom line, it’s a sad commentary that the people administering our local elections are apparently incapable of writing proper instructions.


i.e. = that is

e.g. = for example