Did You Get Two Election Ballots in the Mail? Here's Why and What to Do

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Several Bay Area voters say they’ve received more than one ballot in the mail ahead of next week’s Midterm Elections.

It turns out that if you moved, changed any part of your address, or even updated it at the DMV, you may get a second ballot. 

That was the case for some residents.

“Which is normal. That is part of the system,” said Shannon Bushey of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. “We keep records though, and each ballot has a unique ID number. And first ballot that we do receive back will be the one that is counted, the second or additional ballots will automatically be voided after that.”

If residents send in multiple ballots, California counties have systems designed to detect it. 

Each ballot is scanned in a sorting machine and the information is captured and recorded. 

“If any other ballots come in from that voter, the system already knows that one was returned and therefore we will void and not count any additional ballot that was returned by the voter,” said Bushey. “We don’t want voters voting twice, it is illegal to vote twice.”

And they do refer people who try to vote twice – to the district attorney's office. 

It’s also a federal crime. 

 The registrar says very few people try it, and investigations find it’s usually by accident. 

“Voters who received two ballots should only return one ballot and they can destroy the other,” said Bushey.  

They want voters to know the system is ready. 

“We are eight days before the election, and everything is going very smoothly at this point,” said Bushey.

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