California: ‘Don’t Worry’ About 5,000 Duplicate Mail-In Ballots Sent Out

Riverside County, California, revealed on Monday that it accidentally sent out 5,000 duplicate mail-in ballots for the upcoming general election. Election officials told citizens not to worry, however – the county promised that no improperly returned ballots would be counted.

Riverside County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer issued a statement explaining that the duplicate ballots were “erroneously mailed” to around 5,000 voters in the county. She blamed a “computer system error” for generating the duplicate mailing files that resulted in all of the extra ballots going out.

Spencer said the error was “identified over the weekend,” but by that time the U.S. Postal Service already had custody of all the duplicates.

The registrar went on in the statement to claim that she takes “election integrity seriously” and was sorry for any “inconvenience.” She made the further claim that “none” of the duplicates that had been mailed out would result in multiple votes from any voters.

Spencer said that since each mail-in ballot has a barcode, duplicates will be “locked” and “automatically voided.” Voters were instructed to destroy a duplicate ballot if they received one.

Riverside County uses equipment and technology provided by Dominion Voting Systems to process and tabulate ballots. That company has been under considerable scrutiny nationwide regarding allegations of election irregularities during the 2020 national election.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, California voters could only vote by mail if they requested a special ballot for that purpose. As part of the “emergency” measures undertaken after the pandemic was declared in the 2020 election cycle, the state sent return-by-mail ballots to every voter on the rolls.

With universal and unsolicited voting by mail, some Californians reported receiving ballots for people who had moved away from their registered address or were deceased. The California rules require voters to sign their mail-in ballots. Officials are required to compare the signatures appearing on mailed ballots with signatures on voter registration rolls. However, state law does not require “exact matches” between signatures.

On Election Day, Riverside County voters will cast their ballots for one of the state’s U.S. Senators, House members from the four congressional districts in the county, the California governor, and seven statewide propositions.