Santa Ana Recall Election Will Only Use Vote-by-Mail Ballots, Won't Have In-Person Voting

Date: April, 14 2020 Category: COVID-19

(NOTE: The following information was provided by the Orange County Registrar of Voters.)


The City of Santa Ana Special Recall Election will now be conducted as an all-mail ballot election due to COVID-19.

In-person Vote Center voting, which was scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 9, 2020, and run through May 19, 2020, won't be available.

Pursuant to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-48-20, the generalized use of in-person voting may present risks to public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and could risk undermining social distancing measures imposed by the State Public Health Officer, as well as other aspects of the response to COVID-19.

Additional Options for Voters:
The City of Santa Ana Special Recall Election will proceed under the special provisions of a mail ballot election. Orange County made the transition to the Voter’s Choice Act beginning with el ections in 2020. Under this method of voting, every voter in an election receives a vote-by-mail ballot. Each voter in the City of Santa Ana will be mailed a ballot beginning on April 20, 2020. Voters will have the following options for returning their vote-by-mail ballot:

  • Mail their ballot (postage is pre-paid) so that it is postmarked by Election Day, May 19, 2020
  • Drop off their ballot at the Registrar of Voters’ ballot drop box, open 24 hours per day, no later than 8 p.m. on May 19, 2020, 1300 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana
  • Drop off their ballot at other ballot drop box locations in the City of Santa Ana, open 24 hours per day, at the following locations no later than 8 p.m. on May 19, 2020:
    • AltaMed, 1400 N. Main St. (between 17th Street and Washington Avenue)
    • County Administration South, 601 Ross St. (between Santa Ana Boulevard and Civic Center Drive)
    • Goodwill Computer Works, 412 N. Fairview St. (between 1st Street and 5th Stree t)
    • Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, M.I., 1025 W. Memory Lane (between Bristol Street and Flower Street)
    • Johnson Chapel A.M.E. Church, 1306 W. 2nd St. (Enter on Hesperian Street)
    • OC Health Care Agency, 1725 W. 17th St. (between Bristol Street and English Street)
    • Orangewood Foundation, 1575 E. 17th St. (between Grand Avenue and Cabrillo Park Drive)
    • Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd. (between Grand Avenue and Santiago Street)


Options for Voters with Disabilities or Voters with Medical Impacts Related to COVID-19:
The Registrar of Voters’ Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail ballot system provides voters with disabilities and those with medical impacts related to COVID-19 the option to request a vote-by-mail ballot to be delivered electronically. The electronic ballot can be downloaded to the voter’s computer, marked using the voter’s own assistive technology and then printed. Voters should follow the return instruc tions included with the electronic ballot. To request a Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail ballot, voters can:

  • Complete the postcard with pre-paid postage located on the back of the Voter Information Guide
  • Visit https://www.ocvote.com/myballot
  • Call the Registrar of Voters at 714-567-7600
  • Email myballot@rov.ocgov.com
  • Requests must be received no later than May 12, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.)
  • Voters with disabilities, or particularized needs, who are unable to download or cast an electronic ballot, should call the Registrar of Voters at 714-567-7600 no later than May 15, 2020, to discuss additional options for casting a ballot in this election


Communication with Santa Ana Voters:
In addition to this widely distributed press release, the Registrar of Voters will be using the following methods to communicate these changes to the voters in the C ity of Santa Ana pursuant to the Governor’s Order that “…maximum possible notice to voters about how to participate in (this election) shall be given, paying particular attention to the needs of voters at high risk from COVID-19, individuals with disabilities, and other voters with particularized needs”:

  • Extensive communication related to the in-person closures has been included in the Voter Information Guide, which will be mailed to all voters in Santa Ana beginning on April 13, 2020, providing them notice of closures and alternative options for casting a ballot (this notice will also include translated versions for those voters who have requested bilingual assistance.)
  • An email notice will be sent to all voters (with emails on file in their voter record) in the City of Santa Ana (on Tuesday, May 5, 2020) providing them notice of closures and alternative options for casting a ballot (this notice will also include translated versions for those vote rs who h ave requested bilingual assistance.)
  • Notices will be prominently placed on previously used Santa Ana in-person locations (used in the March Primary Election) in English as well as Chinese, Farsi (Persian), Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
  • If a voter did not receive their ballot in the mail by April 27, 2020, they may visit www.ocvote.com/replacement to request a replacement ballot.
  • Voters can call the Registrar of Voters office at 714-567-7600 Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for assistance or visit www.ocvote.com/santa-ana for further details.


General Background:
On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, which requires compliance with the order by the California State Public Health Officer and Director of Public Health for “all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence” until further notice in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pand emic.

Following the aforementioned Order, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-48-20 on April 9, 2020, which reads in part that “…on May 19, 2020, a Special Recall Election will be held in the City of Santa Ana, in the County of Orange, and that state law would ordinarily require that (this) election be conducted using in-person voting at polling locations throughout (the City of Santa Ana); the generalized us of in-person voting presents risks to public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and could risk undermining social distancing measures imposed by the State Public Health Officer, as well as other aspects of the response to COVID-19; and that California’s existing vote-by-mail procedures can be used to allow (this) election to go forward in a manner that is accessible, secure, and safe.”

The Order goes on to say that pursuant to the Governor’s authority the election “shall be held as an all-mail ballot election and conducte d accord ing to those provisions of the Elections Code that govern all-mail ballot elections, including but not limited to Elections Code sections 3000-3026 and 4100.”