San Diegans receiving duplicate mail-in ballots

Posted at 4:27 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 21:27:16-04

Some San Diego voters are making a surprising - and alarming - discovery in their mailboxes.

They are receiving duplicate mail-in ballots for the November midterm. 

"Obviously with such a contested election and everything in the news right now, was this actually something bigger?" said April Segal, a Hillcrest resident who received two ballots.

Nearly 70 percent of voters in the county say they will vote via the postal service this November. People from Hillcrest to Tierrasanta to Escondido have reported receiving the extra ballots. 

San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said there are protections in place to make sure everyone gets one only one vote. He said duplicates are not uncommon and this year is a bit worse than others because of issues with the new voter registration system at the DMV. 

"Our office and the statewide system runs duplicate checks to determine matches or potential matches," Vu said. "When a duplicate record is identified, the record is merged, with the most recent registration becoming the official record."

Vu said no matter which ballot a person submits, it will ultimately be counted. He said anyone who knowingly submits two ballots would be referred to the district attorney for an investigation of voter fraud. 

Segal said she recently got married, changed her name and registered to vote. A few months later, when applying for a Real-ID at the DMV, she checked the 'yes' box when it asked if she would like to register to vote. That likely led to the duplicate ballot. 

"I knew I already was registered, but I thought I should just err on yes so that nothing got messed up by saying no," she said. 

Segal said she would continue to vote by mail, despite the mix-up.