By Haley Chi-Sing

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has released its online November 2020 Election Observer Guidelines Handbook, detailing voter observation guidelines for both remote and in-person participation.

These new guidelines on how members of the public can observe the elections process have been adjusted from previous years to maintain coronavirus safety mandates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“My team and I are committed to ensuring that voting and elections are conducted in an open and transparent manner, with integrity that increases the public’s trust and confidence in elections in Orange County, even under COVID-19,” Neal Kelley, the registrar for voters, said in a press release.

The November 2020 Election Observer Guidelines have been narrowly tailored to fit health and safety regulations during this election cycle. The handbook includes detailed election observation guidelines for those observing at a Vote Center, as well as ballot processing, both in-person and remotely.  

The county is prompting citizens to serve as election observers, in which individuals are “to observe Vote Center operations, including opening and closing procedures, view all activities at the central counting site, view mail ballot and provisional ballot processing, and much more.”

The observer application will open to the general public on Oct. 1; the remote observer application will open starting on Oct. 7.  

Members of the public approved to be election observers will receive online training, as well as the option to choose which election processes to view. The OC Registrar of Voters has specified that certain processes will be available for viewing only at specific times.

“These materials and trainings are offered to the public in advance so they are aware of what is permitted by law and how they can prepare ahead of time if they plan to observe election and voting procedures,” Kelley said in the release.

All registered California voters will receive a general election ballot through the mail until Nov 3, the date of this year’s elections. Voters can check their registration, re-register, or register to vote at ocvote.com/.

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