County: 100+ voters had two ballots counted in June primary

Loophole 'needs to be fixed, and it wouldn't be hard to do,' registrar says

The Contra Costa County Elections Division has identified a loophole that allowed more than 100 of the county's voters to have two ballots counted during the June primary, the county division announced Friday morning.

There were 113 registered voters who allegedly exploited an ambiguity in an election statute's interpretation to vote twice in the June 7 election. The potential cases of voter fraud are being referred to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Joe Canciamilla, the county's registrar of voters, explained that people with vote-by-mail ballots were able to surrender a ballot at a polling place and then vote again within a certain window of time.

The state's current interpretation of election statute apparently does not provide a means of detecting or preventing the fraud until it is too late, he said.

Canciamilla said he thinks Contra Costa County may be one of the few counties in the state that has tried to track the voter fraud. It's something the county elections division did deliberately to highlight the problem.

"This particular weakness in the system needs to be fixed, and it wouldn't be hard to do," Canciamilla said.

County election officials are requesting the California Secretary of State's office amend practices for surrendering vote-by-mail ballots to prevent further fraud cases in the November election.

— Bay City News Service

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15 people like this
Posted by Greg T
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:17 am

I bet you anything they were Democrats! ;)

4 people like this
Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:52 am

I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that all 113 were people who weren't sure if their votes were counted at all, rather than intentionally trying to cast two votes. The process of submitting an absentee ballot in any manner other than putting a stamp on it and dropping it in a mail box were not clear, and casting a "provisional" ballot to ensure that your (one) vote gets counted has been the way to deal with that uncertainty in the past. Since every ballot is linked to a person and an address, there should be no way to successfully vote more than once, if the registrar is doing his job right. That's what provisional ballots are for.

The only thing interesting about this story is the registrar's claimed inability to detect the duplicate ballots in "real time" so only one is counted. I guess it's easier to wave your arms and prattle on about "fraud" than admit that you're incompetent, eh, Joe?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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