Riverside County mailed out 5,000 duplicate ballots in error, but double votes won’t go through
Riverside County’s election department has been slammed for failing to provide more than 5,000 voters with their correct ballots.
The mistake, which was discovered when an audit revealed that the county had sent out duplicate ballots to two voters, has already led to lawsuits over how the ballot box was opened and how voters were permitted to vote twice.
“The error was brought to our attention by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters,” said county election spokesman Steve Clark. “They notified us of the error and we provided them with duplicate ballots. We subsequently notified the voters through their voter registration information, and also provided a paper ballot to them.”
While the county admitted that it had mistakenly sent out the 2,824 duplicate ballot papers — which were mailed to voters as part of a statewide election, and which the county had never before issued — it said it did so after the Election Board determined it had mistakenly sent out the wrong ballots.
The election board is now investigating the issue, which is set to be heard by a federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
In response, county Board of Supervisorsmember Gloria Molina, a major supporter of the redistricting plan, issued a statement saying the county would not contest her redistricting plan, and that “County staff will conduct a complete review of all of the ballots that were sent to registered voters, and will determine the proper course of action. They also expect to provide the voters with a paper copy of their individual ballot.”
A total of 3,926 ballots were opened between Friday, Oct. 27, and Tuesday, Oct. 31, Clark said, and they were counted by hand by the Supervisor-Elect and the County Clerk.
Clark said it is still unknown whether the discrepancy in the ballots is as simple as a simple mistake made by the election department or if it is the result of some form of voter fraud.
“We do believe we have not yet determined the cause of the discrepancy,” he said. “It is imperative that we figure out the reason for the discrepancy.”
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