Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Martinez, holding scissors, is joined by local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new mobile voting center on Tuesday.
As the 2020 Presidential Election approaches, Madera County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Martinez and her staff are implementing a variety of methods to encourage early voting for what she expects to be greater than normal voter turnout.
“Voters have the right to vote in person if they want to,” said Martinez. “We are providing more opportunities to vote earlier than ever before.”
On Tuesday, during the Board of Supervisors meeting, the board joined other city and county dignitaries at the Madera County Government Center to unveil a recently purchased Mobile Vote Center.
In attendance were Chief Administrative Officer Jay Varney, Sheriff Tyson Pogue and supervisors Robert Poythress, Max Rodriguez, Brett Frazier and David Rodgers. Supervisor Tom Wheeler was absent, but was represented by his chief of staff. Madera City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez and a contingent of Sheriff deputies were also in attendance.
The Mobile Vote Center, affectionately referred to as the “Vote-Mobile,” is a colorful red, white and blue trailer equipped with voting booths under canopies so voters may practice both social distancing and in-person early voting. The center will also accept voted ballots from those who prefer not to mail them.
The Mobile Vote Center offers all the services that the stationary vote centers offer.
Long lines of voters are expected especially on Nov. 3, election day, said Martinez. She would not be surprised if voters have to wait in line for hours. This “Vote-Mobile,” will allow the people to cast their ballots early and avoid those lines.
After its debut at the meeting, the Mobile Vote Center was transported to Eastern Madera County for its first of three deployments. It was taken to the Coarsegold Historic Village, the North Fork Tribal Government Office on Road 222, and in the Oakhurst Chase Bank parking lot.
In an earlier press release, Martinez said, “The Creek Fire has wreaked havoc on Eastern Madera County. I chose to deploy the Vote Center to the areas most affected by the fire first so that voters who have been displaced or who are concerned about getting their ballot in the mail can vote early and won’t have to worry about going to a vote center during peak times.”
Additional locations for the “Vote-Mobile” will be at the Pan American Community Center on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and at Town and Country Park on Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m.
For complete information about voting, locations, and vote center hours of operation in Madera County visit www.votemadera.com or call the Elections Office at (800) 435-0509. Voters can sign up to track their vote by mail ballot at www.wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov. The tracking service is free of charge to all California voters.