Ventura County clarifies it only ran out of provisional ballot envelopes

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Voters in Simi Valley who cast provisional ballots to decide the 25th Congressional and 38th Assembly District races all had the chance to vote on election night — despite some using different envelopes than Ventura County’s pre-printed ones designated for provisional ballots.

The county’s registrar confirmed Wednesday that polling locations in the city of Simi Valley ran out of the county’s official pre-printed envelopes, but that this did not affect the ballot counts themselves. The county simply used different envelopes that were just as valid, said Martin Cobos, operations manager in the elections division of the Ventura County Registrar’s office.

“Everyone who wanted to vote provisionally at a polling location got a ballot,” Cobos said. “It is a misconception that we ran low on provisional ballots, but we didn’t. All ballots are still counted the same. Some just had different envelopes.”

Pre-printed envelopes have an affidavit of registration and receipt number, Cobos said. But the envelopes used in place of the pre-printed envelopes for provisional ballots are still just as valid.

“Once an election officer hands an envelope to you to place your ballot in, it’s an official envelope,” he said.

Regardless of envelopes, poll workers would still research the eligibility of provisional voters, Cobos said. “Nobody was turned away from voting because of an envelope shortage,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that there is only one ballot, just placed in different envelopes,” he said. “Everyone’s vote is still being processed the exact same once we find them in the system, and everyone is still having the same opportunity. The ballot was not affected. Just its corresponding envelope.”


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