Members of the Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury have released findings of a variety of different investigations they made during their year of service. On Nov. 6, 2018 the jury made Election Day precinct visits at approximately two dozen polling places plus the registrar’s office in downtown Modesto and, in the report, indicated a favorable rating overall from the investigation. Jurors intentionally selected many smaller rural polling places that might be overlooked or inconveniently located for observers. Each visitation was approximately 30 minutes in duration. Overall the polling places appeared well organized with friendly, professional-acting poll workers/volunteers.
• Most signage was posted in both English and Spanish with a few exceptions
• Voting instructions were in English only
• Translator available but one did not show up for work that day leaving non-English speakers to rely on their own resources
• Automark available but set in “off” mode or lacked a cartridge at some sites
• Voter turnout was steady and heavier than expected
• Steady stream of mail-in ballots were dropped off
• Procedure for handling provisional ballots seemed to cause confusion among workers
• Some sites ran out of provisional ballots
Specific to Registrar’s office:
• Exceptionally long line for provisional voters; up to 90-minute wait
• Strict adherence to Observer Panel Procedures and Rules
• Signature verification of vote-by-mail ballots performed by volunteers who lacked formal training
• Large number of ballots delivered to Clerk-Recorder’s office via “ballot harvesting”
• Ballot harvesting, a term applied to people who collect others’ filled out absentee ballots and turn them in to election officials, is legal in California.
Reports issued by the Grand Jury do not identify individuals interviewed. Penal Code section 929 requires that reports of the Grand Jury not contain the name of any person or facts leading to the identity of any person who provides information to the Grand Jury.