SLO County clerk finds extra ballots, violates election code

November 29, 2022

SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano


The San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder’s Office discovered an additional 332 provisional ballots last week, after ordering election observers to leave the viewing area in an apparent violation of state law, observer Darcia Stebbens said.

On election night, the Clerk Recorder’s office reported that there were approximately 800 provisional ballots to be counted. Several days later, the county reported there were 927 provisional ballots. Then last Wednesday, the county reported there were 1,259 provisional ballots left to count, after discovering 332 provisional ballots at the county building in SLO, according to a county official.

If a voter’s name is not on the voter roll at their polling place, they have the right to vote a provisional ballot at any polling place in the county. Provisional ballots are not tallied until all mail-in ballots have been counted, according to state law.

On Nov. 23, county staff ordered ballot count observers to leave the observation room while they processed provisional ballots. However, the state requires that observers are “permitted to view vote-by-mail and provisional ballot processing.”

In her defense, SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano asserts she has a responsibility to protect confidential voter information.

While the state does not permit viewers to sit at the “official worktables or view confidential voter information on any computer terminal or document,” it requires that the public is able to observe the process.

Next to the election ballot processing room, is a room separated by a glass partition for observers, with some of the computer screens turned toward the observers. Several observers question why county staff does not turn the screens around instead of making the observers leave the room.

After CalCoastNew questioned the legality of ordering observers to leave the observation room, county staff agreed to allow observers to watch the processing of provisional ballots.

In addition, observers have complained that county staff requires them to stand during the count regardless of age or physical limitations, and fails to provide the public the required 48 hours notice before a count.

“I was able to stay for about three hours, but could not stand any longer,” said 86-year-old Jeannette Watson.

On Monday, county staff told SLO County District 2 supervisor candidate Bruce Jones that they were unsure when they would resume the count, but they were likely to count again on Wednesday morning, Jones said.

After questions were raised by CalCoastNews, the county has determined it cannot resume counting until Friday at the earliest because of the 48-hour notice requirement, though it appears state law requires the county to continue the canvas daily until finished.

“The canvass shall commence no later than the Thursday following the election, shall be open to the public …,” according to California Election Code 15301. “The canvass shall be continued daily, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excepted, for not less than six hours each day until completed.

The county has not yet announced the date of the next count.

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I’m not usually a proponent for more government regulation, but with SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano’s many failures a regulation many be needed that says election vote counting needs to be completed by XXXX date, giving us time between the final vote count and the certification date, minimum of a week seems fine. One day, or possibly in this case around 15hrs about, between final count and certification seems wrong.

So our new County Clerk’s election performance is leaving a lot to be desired.

As you’ll recall in the June Primary, when a recount was demanded in the Dist. 4 Supervisor race, she cane back and said it was 100% accurate! Meaning that not a single vote was overlooked, or counted twice. Not one vote out of tens of thousands had any problems and their original count was PERFECT!

Then in the November General Election, she left two school board candidates’ information and ballot arguments out of the sample ballot; printed another school board candidate’s information twice; and then had a major typo on the actual ballot language for Measure C-22, a $347 million school bond for San Luis Coastal School District.

And now this BS of finding additional uncounted ballots, weeks after the election. So she’s gone from perfection, to multiple SNAFUs in one election cycle.

One can only hope she’ll get better with experience.

I have an idea, how about when the counting machines count a ballot, it gets marked automatically in such a way that it cannot be counted again. Period.

And let’s change the ID requirements, so that when somebody registers to vote, they must show ID and then give a writing sample electronically, and a thumbprint.

Then the ballots at the bottom would have a peel-off sticker where you affix your thumbprint and sign it underneath.

Both the thumbprint and signature would have to match what’s stored on file or the ballot doesn’t get counted. And if your thumbprint shows up on more than one ballot, none of your ballots count and you’ll be getting a knock on your door from the County Sheriff, demanding an explanation.

That ought to stop any cheating that goes on.

Like it,

I received two ballots for this election. Also, a family member is residing out of state, and registered in that state, yet they are still getting ballots sent to the old address. Not saying it’s fraud, it’s just a bureaucratic mess and terribly inefficient.

End automatic mailing out of ballots. You want an absentee ballot, request it.

That has always happened. People die, people move. The bureaucracy is slow. I have yet to see a shred of evidence for any widespread fraud in any U.S. elections. You simply don’t like the results.

And, what will you say when Jones beats Gibson? “Right on—free and fair election!” But if Jones loses, it’s suddenly fraud. I wonder what happened to common sense in the conservative movement.

“One can only hope she’ll get better with experience.”

ummm, she ran as the candidate with the necessary experience.

Yep, continue to sow discontent. Great idea. You could get some helpful hints from the Russians and Chinese.

Obviously, Cano is in the pockets of the Democrats. I’ve heard she just bought a new, very expensive automobile and a new house. In addition, she was seen in the back alley of the Democratic headquarters moving boxes.

Just another example of how inefficent all high paid government staff are. This is why people keep calling foul on vote counting at elections. You should start voting 2 weeks ahead of election have proof via ID that you are eligable to vote and who you are and all votes must be counted and verified election results within 3 days after . Not rocket science we made it to moon ( They Say ) so this also can be done

Funny how 40 years ago we all voted on the same day and knew the results on the next.

Where are the highly paid smart people when there is an election being tallied. One has to wonder how our tax dollars get oversight too. Back to the abacus for real time results.

Perhaps some previous “vote-by-mail” and/or “election night non-processed” ballots were catagorized as provisional ballots.

Unfortunate. The result of this election will probably not be known until next year, because which ever side loses will call foul, and they would be right to do so. This would mean a recount, which could take weeks. A recount is in order no matter what happens, in my opinion.