More than 100 people could be facing criminal charges for voter fraud in Contra Costa County, stemming from the high number of provisional ballots cast in June’s rancorous primary election.
The District Attorney is investigating reports that 113 people apparently voted twice at their local polling station, although the voters needn’t worry: The head of the Contra Costa County Democratic Committee says they are not the party at fault.
“It would be a miscarriage of justice to actually charge these 113 people with a crime,” said Jeff Koertzen, the democratic committee chair for the county. “They were told by people in the clerk’s office that you can go ahead and send in more than one ballot.”
Koertzen says that the people were told that only one of their votes would be counted. Others voted by mail, dropped of their ballot, and then proceeded to fill out another one at the station.
Joe Canciamilla, who works at the County Clerk’s Office, speculated as to why people were allowed to vote twice.
“If they were re-registering in a different party or if they were going from no party preference to a presidential ballot, they would get extra ballots,” he said.
Officials have not commented on whether a majority of the double votes were for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and the number of votes was not enough to change the outcome of the county’s race.
Koertzen suggested that the District Attorney’s investigation may be a scare tactic and could actually dissuade voters from returning to the polls in November, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go head to head.
“That is a problem when our clerk and our DA are then scaring people and wanting to prevent them from casting a ballot because of the potential for charging them with a crime,” he said.