Envelope Shortage Causes Voting Headache in Stanislaus County

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STANISLAUS COUNTY -- Record turnout was expected in Stanislaus County during this year’s midterm elections.

Attorney Lisa Battista, with the California Democratic Party, says many voices may have been quieted.

"I'm beside myself with disappointment," Battista said. "This was not how this was supposed to go."

Battista says she and about 40 other volunteers were monitoring the polls Tuesday and noticed issues right away.

"We started to get a lot of reports that polling places were running out of the envelopes, the pink envelope, that designates a ballot as a provisional ballot," Battista told FOX40.

Now, thousands of ballots are being counted but Battista says there should be more.

Stanislaus County Registrar Lee Lundrigan told FOX40 in a text message: "(The envelopes) were replaced as soon as possible and voters were given alternate envelopes during this brief period."

Battista claims she had called Lundrigan about a dozen times with no response and no fix.

"Places were telling people who needed to vote provisionally that they could not vote there and they had to go somewhere else," Battista said.

Lundrigan says she is not aware of voters being turned away.

Battista says she and other attorneys scrambled to give voters more time.

"We were doing everything as fast as we could," Battista told FOX40. "We had to find the judge, which took a long time. He had to drive up from Turlock, we had to write the motion."

Battista says the judge denied the emergency motion because he wanted the names of voters impacted. Lawyers only recorded three people.

"In the time given, it just was impossible for us to have that," Battista said.

Battista says she now plans to work with the incoming registrar so that every vote is heard in 2020.

"The damage is done," she said. "We could never go back to election night, we could never find the voters who didn’t get to vote. So we’ll just have to live with a really imperfect result.”


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