What to do if you get two ballots

Local News

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — In Placer County, up to 6,000 voters are expected to get two ballots in the mail — but it’s common in every election cycle. 

It happens because people move, change names or change party affiliation after the first ballot is mailed to them, according to election officials. 

“What happens is that triggers, every time that somebody touches that record, it triggers a second ballot to be generated for that voter,” said Placer County Registrar of Voters Ryan Ronco. 

Often automatic voter registration at the DMV creates an updated registration. If a voter turns in or mails in the first ballot, it is flagged by election officials to see if the second ballot is turned in. 

“We want to make sure that two ballots are not counted for one voter. And so, that’s why the process is set up like it is to void that first ballot when the second ballot is generated,” Ronco told FOX40. 

If you wind up with two ballots in hand, vote the second one because an address change could affect your ballot choices because you could be in another voting district. 

“The second ballot, the most recent ballot that’s produced, should be more reflective of that person’s choices,” Ronco said. 

If you have two ballots, mark it void and return it to the elections office so they can account for it — but there’s another option if that’s not convenient. 

“Destroying that ballot by tearing it up or marking it so that it can’t be used by somebody that thinks they can vote fraudulently with it, then that would be preferred,” Ronco said. 

A record of double ballots sent out and signature verification means voter fraud is rare if non-existent. 

If someone doesn’t send in the second ballot, then the first one turned in will be counted to make sure every voter can express their choices. 

Ronco speaks for other county elections officials in saying that if you have a problem, contact them right away. That way they have a chance to fix it before Election Day and to make sure your vote is counted correctly. 

Each county handles late registration changes differently. For instance, in Sacramento County, voter registration changes can be made online until Oct. 19 in order to get an updated ballot. 

It can be done after that day in person at voting centers prior to Election Day.  

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