Extra ballots accidently sent to hundreds in Douglas County

A machine malfunction resulted in about 400 voters receiving two ballots for the March 10 primary.

About 400 people in Douglas County received two ballots. (Herald file)

About 400 people in Douglas County received two ballots. (Herald file)

By Bridget Mire / The Wenatchee World

WATERVILLE — About 400 Douglas County voters received two ballots for the March 10 presidential primary after a machine malfunction.

Auditor Thad Duvall said the error affected people throughout the county. It apparently stems from the vendor the office uses for distributing ballots.

“This particular vendor does elections for a number of counties, and they’re thinking that they didn’t recalibrate between one county versus Douglas County,” Duvall said. “So, they’re looking at that calibration to make sure that doesn’t happen again. This vendor that we’re with, we’re very happy with them. This is the first time anything like this has happened in our county. I did call the other counties that they do work for and no other county reported this, so it seems to be very isolated.”

Voters who received a duplicate ballot should complete and return one, he said, and discard the other.

“It starts out by a person checking a box on the return envelope — either Democrat or Republican — and signing it,” he said. “When those come into us, we sort them by Democrat and Republican. If you check Democrat on your outer envelope and we put you in the Democratic sort, and then we open your envelope and find out that you voted Republican, it doesn’t count. It would just all depend on what they did on the outer envelope and what was on the inside. If they return two ballots, we can’t determine voter intent on that one.”

Questions should be directed to the Auditor’s Office at 745-8527.

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