SACRAMENTO — Californians who want to cast ballots in next month's election can register to vote as late as Oct. 22, but that is not what many people heard Monday when they called a hotline operated by the secretary of state's office.
Some callers to (800) 345-VOTE got a recorded message giving correct information. Others heard an inaccurate message saying, "Voter registration for the Nov. 6 election is now closed.''
The incorrect message was removed from the hotline at 4:15 p.m. Monday, according to an email from Shannan Velayas, a spokeswoman for California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Velayas said the line can handle 24 calls at once before rolling over to a backup phone line. The incorrect message, which was supposed to begin running Oct. 23, was mistakenly included on the rollover line.
It is unclear how long the erroneous message was on the hotline and how many people may have been improperly told it was too late to register.
This year, Californians can register to vote online by going to registertovote.ca.gov.