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Chico city hall ballot drop off box to move outdoors after voter concerns

Butte County has doubled the amount of ballot drop-off locations throughout the county this election. One indoor drop-off box at Chico City Hall caused some confusion amid voters.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 11:48 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 6:04 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County has doubled the amount of ballot drop-off locations throughout the county this election. One indoor drop-off box at Chico City Hall caused some confusion amid voters.

"I went to city hall to drop off our ballots for my wife and I," said Stan Gungl, recalling his experience going to drop off their ballots. "When I got there, there was a sign on the door saying that you could only get in the building by appointment only."

He was just one of several voters that came to drop off their ballots and wasn't able to simply drop it off.

"I think this is wrong in so many ways. To deny people access to a voting box," Gungl said.

Here at the City Municipal Center in Chico, there are two signs on the door one that says you need an appointment to enter, and another that says please call this number in order to come in and drop off your ballot.

Both are completely unrelated to one another, but they're causing a lot of voter confusion. Voter confusion that will be fixed very soon.

"You don't need an appointment to drop off a vote by mail ballot. Some of the local city halls because of COVID restrictions, they have their own procedures in place," said Keaton Denlay, Manager of Butte County Elections.

"So we're working with city halls really closely to finding new alternatives for replacing those drop boxes," he said. "For example city of chico, we're going to be moving that dropbox outside, so it won't be impacted by the COVID regulations, we can keep the city staff and still give voters an opportunity to drop off their ballot."

Because of our reporting on the issue, and voters voicing their concerns, there will be a new ballot drop off box installed outside the municipal center in chico Thursday morning.

"Because of COVID and some of the concerns, we've really ramped up our services we're offering our voters," said Denlay. "For instance, we've doubled the number of secure ballot drop boxes that are available in the county."

Chico City clerk's office told Action News Now that once they install and bolt down the ballot drop off box, that location will be used for future elections.

There are 16 ballot drop box locations throughout Butte County. 13 Of them are outdoors and available 24 hours.

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We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
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