Rialto encouraging greater voter participation with official drop boxes, drive-through events

Courtesy photo: Rialto City Clerk Barbara McGee stands by one of 3 official mail ballot drop box locations in Rialto at City Hall; the other two are located at the Sandra R. Courtney Community Playhouse - 150 E. San Bernardino Ave., and Rialto Fire Station 204 - 3288 Alder Ave.
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Servando Montes wasn’t about to take a chance with his 2020 ballot. Not with so many unofficial dropoff locations and questions about voter security.

So when he heard about Rialto’s partnership with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters to install official dropoff boxes at three locations in the City, he knew what to do.

“I thought it was a brilliant idea,” Montes said as he formally, and securely, cast his ballot near City Hall. “The Police and Fire Departments are right here. I know it’s safe and not a fake.”

The clearly marked and anchored metal boxes are part of broad effort led by City Clerk Barbara McGee to encourage strong voter participation. The City has surpassed 55,000 registered voters – its most ever – and will hold drive-through ballot drop off days each of the next two Saturdays: October 24 at the Renaissance Marketplace and October 31 at Rialto Marketplace. Both events will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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“Voting is one of the most important rights we have as citizens, and we’re here to do everything we can to encourage people to exercise that right,” said McGee, who worked with County Registrar of Voters Bob Page to get the three boxes installed.

“The public’s response has been overwhelming,” she said.

One recent afternoon, Justin Vanh and Princess Arthur, both 18, cast their first ballots ever – driving from San Bernardino and Colton, respectively, after hearing about the Rialto drop boxes.

“It’s so cool to be doing this in person,” Vanh said, explaining his decision not to mail in his ballot. “I’ve always wanted to vote, and here I am doing it. I really think it’s our civic duty to do so.”

Arthur shared her friend’s excitement: “It feels really good to be involved.” For more information about Rialto’s voter participation program, contact the City Clerk’s office at (909) 820-2519.

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