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Questions raised after 2 ballots sent to Davis County voter

By Garna Mejia, KSL TV | Posted - Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:33 p.m.



FARMINGTON — A Utah man called election officials after a pair of ballots arrived at his home, both in his name. It's not a common mistake, officials said, but they have checks in place to prevent more than one ballot being counted for each voter.

According to elections officials, the voter registered to vote on October 6 after already being registered. His early ballot was already being processed through the county's voting house.

When the voter reregistered, they also changed their party affiliation, prompting the system to issue a new ballot from the Davis County Clerk's office.

Chief deputy clerk Brian McKenzie said the system caught the error during a second review on October 8, and one of the ballots was voided out. However, the paper copies were already in the mail, resulting in the voter getting duplicate ballots.

McKenzie said voters should call the clerk's office directly anytime something unusual comes up.

"Anytime a voter has a question on their ballot, we strongly recommend to give us a call," he said. "Every situation is unique, every circumstance is unique, so if you have a question, give us a call. We have staff on hand that are happy to explain whatever may have happened or who can provide guidance and instructions."

McKenzie said they have multiple checks and balances in place to catch errors like these either before or after ballots come back.

If the voter had returned both ballots, it would flag the system, because it can only take one per voter. The duplicate ballot would have prompted an investigation.

"I would strongly discourage anyone from trying to vote twice. It's not a good situation," McKenzie said. "If somebody, by chance, did receive two ballots, only one can be counted – and if both are returned, only one will be accepted."

Anytime there is an issue with a ballot, McKenzie said staff members contact voters to resolve the matter.

Moreover, McKenzie said voters will notice small differences between ballots sent from the clerk's office and their voting house. These include slight changes in the paper quality and color, as well as a QR scan code, which is used by the voting house and not the clerk's office.

Leading up to Election Day, Davis County has been planning for record voter turnout. If you get a ballot and don't feel comfortable putting it in the mail, you can always drop it off in person. Or if you choose to vote in person, bring your original ballot to help lines move faster.

Voters who received an early voting ballot have been asked to use that ballot. If they show up in person to vote, a new ballot will be printed out for them on Election Day, which may cause voting delays.

For more information about registering to vote or the ballot process, visit vote.utah.gov.

2020 Election: Increased mail-in voting, COVID-19, and a variety of state-by-state election formats contribute to a unique 2020 election. As a result, it is likely that many close House and Senate races, as well as the presidency, will not be called on Nov. 3. States may also shift in outcome in the days or weeks following the election — an expected change experts have warned about as results are returned. While human error happens, both mail-in and in-person voting have extremely low rates of fraud. The state of Utah has used vote-by-mail since 2012. It has safeguards in place to make sure every ballot it receives is legitimate.

Garna Mejia

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