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California's Election Website Causes Headaches for Some Voters

The California Secretary of State’s website is giving some Shasta County residents the wrong polling place for Election Day.

by Joe Szydlowski, Redding Record Searchlight, Calif. / November 8, 2016
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(TNS) -- Voters wondering where they will cast their ballots Tuesday should turn to the local elections office website as the California Secretary of State’s website appears to be having problems.

That’s because the California Secretary of State’s website is giving some Shasta County residents the wrong polling place for Election Day.

A search of several addresses in Redding, Anderson, Shasta Lake, Weaverville and Shasta County on the Secretary of State’s Find Your Polling Place website brought up a result of them being mail-in-only precincts, even though those areas have polling places.

The site seemed to be functioning for Tehama and Siskiyou counties, based on a quick search Monday.

State officials said Pew Trust, a third party that manages the data, is looking into what’s causing the issue.

“County elections officials provide polling place data to Pew, which is used for our online polling place look-up tool,” Secretary of State Press Secretary Sam Mahood said in an e-mail. “We have reached out to Pew about the current issues impacting Shasta County addresses in the polling place look-up tool.”

It did not appear to be affecting other areas of California, he said.

Pew Trusts partnered with election officials nationwide to put together the voting information project and its data, he said.

A Pew representative said in an e-mail that the secretary’s site says the incorrect search results still refer individuals to the local county clerk’s office and includes contact information.

The Secretary of State’s website isn’t the only one causing headaches. A partnership website between Google and Facebook is giving the county’s elections office for all addresses, though it also notes that the office is the early vote location, which it is.

Nonetheless, voters can turn to the Shasta County Elections Clerk website, which is giving the correct polling information, said Cathy Darling-Allen, elections clerk. It lists the correct precinct polling places on its site. She said she wasn’t aware of the issue until contacted by the Record Searchlight. No one had reported it to her yet, she said early Monday afternoon.

Two separate voters from different parts of Redding told the Record Searchlight about the issues with the state site after searching for their polling place Monday.

Elections officials said they hope to resolve the issue by Monday evening.

©2016 the Redding Record Searchlight (Redding, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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