Monday, August 4, 2014
(Nevada County) Grand jury: Glitch in elections office
June 11, 2014
The Union of Grass Valley
By Keri Brenner
Nevada County Superior Court failed to provide a list of convicted felons to the Nevada County Elections Office, and elections officials failed to ask for it, a new grand jury report released Wednesday indicates.
“This information is necessary to properly ensure the integrity of voter rolls,” the grand jury report said.
The grand jury noted the list is important because convicted felons on parole or incarcerated on a prison commitment are ineligible to vote. All other convicted felons are eligible to vote in California under the Constitution.
The county elections code requires the court to forward the list so that elections staff and polling place workers may check to make sure no convicted felons on parole or incarcerated on a prison commitment are violating the code.
“The Nevada County Grand Jury recommends that the Nevada County Clerk Recorder-Registrar of Voters and the Nevada County Superior Court develop and adopt a formal agreement which establishes an effective communication process between the tow offices,” the grand jury report said.
According to the grand jury report, a citizen’s complaint received after the jury’s 2012 election report was published led the 2013-14 grand jury to launch an investigation into events that occurred during the course of the 2012 general presidential election in Nevada County.
Besides the irregularity with the convicted felon list, the grand jury found some observers at the county elections office said they felt unwelcome and unable to effectively observe, due to being confined to a 18-inch square. Other problems noted concerned the placement of vote-by-mail boxes, the format for provisional ballots, incomplete instructions for poll workers, voter registration abnormalities and signature verification for vote-by-mail ballot envelopes.
Sandra Sjoberg, Nevada County Assistant Clerk-Recorder, said her office will issue a written response to the grand jury report by the Aug. 11 deadline.
To see a copy of the full report, go to www.nevadacountycourts.com and click on “Grand Jury Reports.”
To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
This story was updated on Thursday, June 12, 2014 to clarify which group of convicted felons are ineligible to vote.