Humboldt County Election Office preps for the polls

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EUREKA - We're just “E-6” days from Election Day. That's what staff at the voting office in the Clark Complex Building is calling it. The “E” is for election and the “6” is for the six days left to get everything ready for voters on Election Day. 

The employees at the election office have doubled to accommodate the pre-election demands. Among stuffing envelopes, stamping ballots, and recruiting poll workers, one daily duty is mail-in ballots.

“We usually get our mail just before 12. We'll be checking signatures on the ones that come in today. Then they will be opened and counted by precinct before they can be counted,” Carolyn Crnich, County Clerk, Recorder, and Registrar of Voters, said.

But before mail-in ballots can even be counted, the ballots had to be designed and printed, something the office is also responsible for.

“After we got the ballots designed and printed, and all the layout done for the sample ballots, we've also been registering voters to the tune of 80 thousand, and recruiting poll workers, and getting all those logistics set up,” Crnich explained.

For Crnich, this is an especially momentous voting year. She is retiring after serving the county for 38 years and serving as an elected official for 24 years.

“It’s bittersweet, really. This is my last election as the registrar of voters and while I’m looking forward to retirement and time of my own, I’m also looking forward to being a poll worker in the next election,” Crnich said.

But 8 p.m. on November 4 does not mark retirement for Crnich or a break for the rest of the election office staff. Once the polls close, the office enters a 29 day audit process.

“This is not really the end of the election it's sort of the beginning for us,” Crnich said.