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Riverside County election workers quarantined after some test positive for the coronavirus

A voter drops off a ballot at the registrar of voters office in Riverside on Oct. 30.
A voter drops off a ballot at the registrar of voters office in Riverside on Oct. 30. Dozens of Riverside County election workers have been quarantined after an unknown number of staffers tested positive for the coronavirus.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Days ahead of its election certification deadline, the Riverside County registrar of voters said dozens of employees are in quarantine after more than one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

The county is still on target to meet its Thursday deadline, Riverside County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer said in a news release.

County spokeswoman Brooke Federico said that because of patient privacy, she could not disclose how many staffers have been infected with the virus but said that after the positive results were confirmed, the county immediately tested the entire workforce and disinfected office spaces.

Approximately 4,000 provisional and vote-by-mail ballots in Riverside County remain to be researched, verified and counted, according to the most recent numbers issued by the California secretary of state.

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Spencer said the county’s quick response to the confirmed cases, which were announced Wednesday, will help the office meet the state’s deadline.

“It is key to our election process to ensure the registrar of voters employees are safe and healthy,” she said.

All counties in California must finalize and certify their presidential election results by Tuesday, and all other state and federal election results by Thursday, in accordance with official procedure. Results must be reported to the secretary of state no later than Friday.

The secretary of state will certify and publish official results on Dec. 11.

According to the news release, Riverside County is also conducting a manual audit of 1% of its ballots to confirm the accuracy of its ballot-counting machines. In addition, voters whose signature did not match their registration have until Tuesday to return a signature-curing form.


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