We've got four registered voters in our household: one Democrat and three No Party Preference (NPP). The Democrat received his ballot in early February, but by the middle of this month the three NPP voters (who had requested “crossover" ballots to participate in the Democratic primary) had still received nothing. This seemed strange: the same address but differing service, seemingly based on party preference. I called the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters and was told that all ballots were mailed out on February 3, eleven days past, so they would mail us replacement ballots.
Curious about this, I posted a note online asking if anyone else had the same problem, and received a half-dozen responses from other NPP/crossover voters waiting for their ballots to arrive.
By February 20 we had still not received ballots, so I went to the registrars' office to request a replacement ballot in person. As the receptionist went off to produce it, other staff came up to answer my questions. They told me the printing/mailing of Mendocino County ballots had, for the very first time, been contracted out to a private vendor [subsequent research seems to contradict this claim, indicating Mendocino has been subcontracting with this particular vendor at least as far back as 2018]. I asked who the contractor was, and after some balking — "I don't see how that is relevant" — was given the name Integrated Voting Systems. Replacement ballot finally in hand, I went home with piqued interest.
The next day I researched "Integrated Voting Systems" and discovered a sordid history of bungled ballots, unpaid taxes and debts, liens, suspension, evasive name changes, asset and liability dodging, delinquent filing, foreclosure, lawsuits, bankruptcy…in other words, exactly the sort you'd want to trust your vote with. The miscreant behind all this mayhem was owner Eric Kozlowski. At the end of this piece are links to stories which elaborate on past issues with this outfit.
Meanwhile, back to the present, if you have not received your ballot yet, you should go to the registrar's office in Ukiah (501 Low Gap Road) and get your replacement ballot in person. For many, of course, that will be a long drive and imposition, but because election day is only a week away (March 3) simply calling the office (707-234-6819) to request a replacement by mail is probably too late now.
If you did not receive your original ballot (or got it very late), please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) including your party affiliation and whether or not you requested a crossover ballot. I'm curious whether these delays/omissions indeed targeted NPP/crossover voters, as appeared to be the case from my initial inquiry.
Three full weeks after they were supposedly mailed (Feb. 3), our three original NPP/crossover ballots have still not arrived. I don't think they're coming, and I wonder how many other Mendo voters will be completely shut out from voting in this election (or forced to submit a provisional ballot).
After all the underhanded electoral shenanigans we've seen in the recent past, I'm not discounting the possibility that darker forces are still working to suppress our vote. It stands to reason that NPP/crossover voters might be targeted as likely Sanders supporters, and therefore a worthy demographic to disenfranchise. It wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened, and it's why you hear people saying that Bernie will have to over-win this election in order to win. The powers that be are terrified of that happening and will do most anything to stop it.
FURTHER READING ON THE DEEPLY TROUBLED PAST OF ERIC KOZLOWSKI AND INTEGRATED VOTING SYSTEMS:
"Behind those bungled ballots"
"Ballot printer imperiled 2016 election: Even more Colorado counties hired IVS after feud, court battle”
"SLO County ballot printer’s messy family bankruptcy"
"SLO County vendor’s troubles raise the question, who’s printing your ballots?"
"Fresno ballot vendor has trouble in Colorado, warned by state of California"