THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
Published: 20 May 2012 07:52 PM

You know that old political joke, “Vote early, vote often”?

Yeah, Riverside City Councilman Mike Gardner’s heard it. And he’s been hearing it more lately, after his first mailer in his mayoral campaign assured people their vote counts … on June 4. (The election is June 5.)

“That’s a typo,” was the age-old explanation Gardner gave when reached Wednesday. “I signed off on (the mailer) and didn’t see it.”

He’s been kidded by a few people, he said, but hey, these things happen — there’s even another minor typo/grammatical error in the mailer.

And actually, as Gardner pointed out, it is possible to vote early — and many people are. In Riverside, 48,308 voters have been issued mail ballots for this election, according to assistant county registrar Rebecca Spencer — that’s 40 percent of the 118,473 registered voters. (As of May 16, the registrar has received 315 ballots back.)

Early voting also will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1-3 at the Galleria at Tyler in Riverside. Gardner said he’ll send out at least one more mailer before the election. Which is June 5, by the way.

BALLOT STATEMENTS CHANGED

Some San Bernardino County candidates have had their ballot statements toned down in order to comply with state election law.

County Registrar of Voters Michael Scarpello said his office has been strict about enforcing a provision of the law that does not allow candidates to make disparaging comments about other candidates in their ballot statements. Under election law, ballot statements are supposed to include only information about a candidate’s own background and qualifications, he said.

Fourteen candidates, including those running for three congressional seats, three Assembly seats and the 1st District supervisorial race, had parts of their statements edited to remove such references.

All of the candidates were informed of the changes before the voter guides were sent out earlier this month. They were not allowed to make any changes themselves.

“None of the candidates were happy about it, but every candidate understood our position and appreciated the consistency of our position,” Scarpello said.

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