Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/14/2012 07:54:53 PM PDT

A new way of distributing ballots to San Bernardino County’s registered voters has some candidates for office concerned about the delays.

With only 22 days to go before the June 5 primary, some voters still have not received their sample ballots and voter guides, but some have received their absentee ballots, officials said.

“I can never remember a time, even voting by mail, where I did not get my sample ballot at least a week or two before getting the actual ballot,” Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron, who is vying for the 8th Congressional District seat, said Monday. “This is the first time this has ever happened.”

He said candidates pay $12,000 to have their ballot statements published in the voter guides. Voters may never even see those statements if they receive their actual ballots first, fill them out and mail them off, said McEachron.

“It’s unfortunate because it’s going to create all kinds of questions as to the validity of this election, and not just the Congressional race but the Board of Supervisors race as well,” McEachron said.

San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Michael Scarpello said that under law, sample ballots can be sent out as early as 40 days prior to an election or as late as 10 days prior to an election.

He said this year’s delay is due to a new approach his office is taking to assure that the county’s high number of provisional voters hold onto their sample ballots as the election draws near and know where their nearest polling locations are. To do that, sample and absentee ballots are being mailed out around the same time.

“In order to address that problem, we’ve decided this year to hold the sample ballots closer to the election so that people aren’t as likely to lose them,” Scarpello said. “It’s important that people look at their sample ballots and find out where their polling place is.”

More than 50,000 provisional voters in San Bernardino County voted in the 2008 presidential election.

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