Kings County Elections Department officials say 2020 voting turnout could be big

By Ed Martin, Editor
A Lemoore ballot drop box is located at Lemoore City offices on Cinnamon Avenue.
A Lemoore ballot drop box is located at Lemoore City offices on Cinnamon Avenue.

The Kings County Elections Department is already counting votes in the 2020 election, and as of October 19, Kings County voters have mailed or dropped into eight official drop boxes 12,226 ballots.

Local voters have plenty of time to vote before the November 3 election day, including weekend voting at all of Kings County’s polling locations.

There are currently 59,701 eligible voters in Kings County, and this year voters will have plenty of opportunities to vote.

In Lemoore, local voters can drop off their ballots at the Lemoore Recreation Department, while those who live outside of Lemoore may take their ballots to Central Union School on 18th Avenue.

“The election code allows you to start the process of (counting) ballots,” said Kings County’s Registrar of Voters Lupe Villa. He said the county would “start” running the ballots through its tabulators beginning October 21. “We don’t see the numbers at all.”

In fact, it won’t be until November 3 at 8 p.m. that the vote totals are displayed. However, as of October 19, Villa told The Leader that 12,226 ballots had been delivered to the Kings County Elections Department.

Villa reminds potential voters that there are only eight “official” drop boxes located in Kings County. He said there had been reports of groups promoting unofficial ballot drop boxes not affiliated with the Kings County Elections Department.

“Our official ballot boxes are secure and belong to the County. We collect those ballots. The voters should feel comfortable using the official ballot boxes.”

Villa said the use of unauthorized, non-official ballot drop boxes is prohibited by state law. Official drop boxes are clearly recognizable, designed to meet the state’s security standards, and all bear the official Kings County seal.

Villa indicated that – based on early turnout – Kings County might be in store for record election totals. “We are on target for a very high turnout,” he said. “My expectation would be a 65-percent turnout. As of today (Oct. 20), we’re at 20 percent.”

Surprisingly, thanks to the apparent ease of voting in 2020, there will be just one official polling place in Lemoore, the Lemoore Masonic Temple, located at 647 W. Bush Street. Hanford has three locations for voters, while Avenal and Corcoran each have just one location.

“We’re expecting a big turnout,” said Villa.

However, polling locations will remain open beginning Saturday, October 31 through Monday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On election day, November 3, the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Kings County Polling Locations

Avenal High School Cafeteria                 

601 Mariposa Street

Corcoran RAC Gymnasium                     

900 Dairy Avenue

Kings County Government Center Multi-Purpose Room                           

1400 West Lacey Blvd.

Longfield Center

560 S. Douty Street, Hanford

Sierra Pacific High School Gymnasium

1259 N. 13th Avenue, Hanford

Lemoore Masonic Temple

647 W. Bush Street

Villa told The Leader that safety precautions would be on display at all the polling places, including social distancing while waiting in line and disinfecting voting machines.

He added that all those showing up to vote should adhere to face-covering requirements. “We have a plan in place for voters who refuse to do a face covering,” said Villa. Those voters will be taken to an area outside the facility to cast their votes.


Kings County Elections Department officials say 2020 voting turnout could be big

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