Rumors about absentee ballot assistance stir air in Calexico

February 27, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Someone could be playing some dirty political pool here.

In the last week there have been rumors of people going door to door in the Alex Rivera Senior Center offering to help residents fill out absentee ballots and then advising seniors on candidates to vote for.

While helping the elderly walk across a street or carry groceries to the car is celebrated, anyone caught manipulating an absentee ballot could face jail time, according to county Registrar of Voters Dolores Provencio.

On Tuesday she sent out a fax to this newspaper detailing the laws regarding absentee ballots.

In bold letters on the fax, "There are penalties for interfering with the absentee voting process and for fraudulent absentee voting."


According to state penal code section 126, "Violations can result in a prison term."

A county elections deputy said, "If someone requires assistance, you can have someone help you but you want to make sure that the person that is helping you is voting the way you want to vote. You would want the person to be trustworthy."

In other news from the campaign trail, some candidates are complaining about merchants taking down their signs, signs being allowed on property they shouldn't be and signs being covered by other candidates' signs.

In Calexico, the sign glut makes the complaints hard to follow up. There are signs everywhere: for a local congressional candidate, nine City Council candidates, two councilmen running for the countywide seats, signs for the sheriff's race and more.

Police Chief Mario Sanchez said, "If we see something being defaced we will take action."

As for merchants removing signs of candidates they don't like, that's legal and a common practice.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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