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Galt residents must pay extra to mail ballot

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Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 6:25 am, Tue Oct 26, 2010.

A news segment on a Sacramento television station has apparently confused some Lodi-area residents into thinking that they must put extra postage on their absentee ballots.

Galt residents in Sacramento County must pay 61 cents for an ultra-bulky ballot, but in San Joaquin County, the cost is only the standard 44 cents for one stamp, according to postal authorities in both counties.

Longtime Lodi resident Lillian Weber, 94, said she was concerned when she saw on TV that she would have to pay 61 cents. She doesn’t mind paying the extra postage, but she was concerned that those who don’t put the correct postage on the envelope would have their ballot thrown out.

“That could make a big difference in the election,” Weber said.

However, no ballots will be discarded, even if there is no postage on the envelope, according to Austin Erdman, San Joaquin County’s registrar of voters.

Erdman and regional postal service spokesman Ralph Petty confirmed that they have an agreement guaranteeing delivering of absentee ballots, now known as “vote by mail.”

The county registrar’s office will foot the bill in the event of insufficient postage is on the envelope, Erdman and Petty said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@ lodinews.com.

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