Riverside County mailed out 5,000 duplicate ballots in error, but double votes won’t go through, spokesman says
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. — The final days before Election Day are usually crowded with questions, but at the post office, the line of questions usually involves ballots – and the fate of the election.
After more than 15,000 voters in Riverside County mailed in potentially duplicated mail-in ballots over the past few weeks, the county mailed out an additional 2,000 duplicate ballots, the county’s chief elections officer, Stephen McCaffrey said. The mail-in ballots were not “in error,” he stressed, but “just as bad an error as the first one” he described as a “minimal” one.
The 2,000 ballots were not enough to reach 25 percent of the county’s total electorate and, McCaffrey said, “the double votes were never going to come through. We will never have enough ballots” for 25 percent of the electorate.
The county will review the “additional 2,000” ballots, but the number may be tiny in some areas and only because of the volume of ballots, he said.
“We had a problem, and we had to deal with it,” McCaffrey said.
The problem was that people had left their ballot boxes inside their cars, he said. Voters may have left all their ballots in their car, including duplicate ballots, and the boxes were left open by people who had not yet returned the boxes on election night, he said.
The county mail system was not a problem, McCaffrey said, “and we didn’t know there were duplicate ballots until we started getting them this weekend.”
While the ballots should not have been counted as duplicates, he said, the double votes “will never make it through,” he said.
The mail-in ballots were not in error, he stressed, but “just as bad an error as the first one.”
The problem with the duplicate ballots was that people had left their ballots inside their cars or on the ground.
“I have nothing to do with that,” McCaffrey said. “I don’t know. They did it