With false allegations of electoral fraud after recall elections in California , we caught up with Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who oversees state elections, about the progress of the vote and how her office is handling efforts to undermine confidence in the contest. . The interview has been slightly edited and condensed.
How is the vote going?
We have seen over eight million returned ballots so far, which is a very large number of ballots. vote. So that in itself is pretty exciting, as the ballots are still being cast in the ballot box this morning.
We have had people who called all of our hotlines to ask where their polling stations are located or tour get further information. It's clear that people are interested in voting today.
Why people have- they called the hotlines?
Sometimes people have familiar polling stations where they always went and now they have changed. We got a few calls saying: "Where is he now? Image Secretary of State Shirley Weber in Sacramento last year. Dr. Weber is overseeing the California election. Credit ... Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press
We had people who could not find their newsletters to vote - got them lost after they arrived in the mail. And we've had people who left the state for a while and wonder how you still vote, that sort of thing.
But we don't We didn't have long queues, no one is waiting. We have zero wait time right now.
Other issues today ?
We have seen little things. A polling station opened 10 minutes late, that sort of thing.
Because of the fires, some people moved out. So we have to fix this problem. We had a riding where the telephones did not serve. We just adapted and adjusted to every little novelty that presented itself. But we haven't had anything that has been a major shutdown.
For those who are having difficulty due to the forest fire, what else have you done?
We made sure everyone in the fire zones got their mail ballots.
We got together assured that those who have had to leave or who have lost their homes, that they have access to the vote in
We have also implemented remote mobile voting for our firefighters to ensure those away from home have access to the vote.
How are you preparing your office for the possible election fraud claims and litigation Republicans say they can bring?
I think the whole discussion of fraud across the country is likely to give us some insight into what people are going to do. They can sue persians. we know they tried to collect information - they set up a website saying: "if you see irregularities, show us your irregularities. and, know, people are going to court, and so far in the whole country, I lost because there is no widespread fraud electoral process. but decide whether to go to court or not, will be there to defend process.
We know they'll always talk about whether it was a stolen election or a fraud, - or there's a new term, "shenanigans ". We don't haveno evidence of this, and when we had allegations of any kind, especially if there is specific information, we investigated. And as most people have found out across the country, there aren't any there.
So we're not totally panicked. We just make sure everything we do is correct by the book. That we took our time to make sure there is transparency. And so far we haven't found anything ourselves.
there additional steps of transparency that you have experienced this hyperpartisan era where the process itself is challenged?
We do which we have always done. This is a one-time election as a reminder. But keep in mind that we have had four or five elections this year, special elections.ciales, as well as last November.
Whenever we discover something that might be of concern, we do our best to make sure to consolidate it. If we find out that someone is complaining that the signs are too small, that they couldn't really see a sign in a voting booth, we try to make sure that next time we will do more. If people feel disenfranchised because of the language, if there are enough people in this community, we make sure to increase the number of languages and make sure those languages are clear.
And so it's not like we're getting ready because Mr. Elder says something or someone else says something . We are aware that the issue of fraud or issues of transparency are constant. And, as I walk to the different officesnts registrars, I see them responding to different issues, such as making sure there is a space where people can observe the ballots being opened.
When I was in a domain, they basically created lanes for people to do. So that's the kind of thing we respond to all the time to make sure that those who want to build transparency and fairness issues have the opportunity to do so.