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East Bay Ballot Box Left Open by Mistake Grabs Attention on Social Media

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A ballot drop box in Danville was left open by mistake Sunday, city official Geoff Gillette said after an early voter in Danville noticed that the box had been left unlocked.

The woman who found the open box at the Sycamore Park and Ride lot called election officials and waited until workers arrived.

It turns out that they had just picked up ballots at that box location, as well as others, because the boxes were full. In the process, someone forgot to lock the box back up.

“City Clerk Marie Sunseri has been in contact with the Contra Costa County Office of Elections, and our understanding is that when the box was serviced it was not properly closed,” Gillette said.

The incident quickly caught attention on social media.

“I was just coming to put my ballot in the box,” said Danville resident Sherri Wagner. “I’m very upset. It’s disturbing to see a ballot box left unlocked. This is what we’re all worried about.”

The Deputy Registrar of voters Scott Konopasek said that this is embarrassing, but they don’t believe anyone’s ballot was swiped in the hour between when the box was accidently left unlocked and when the workers returned to meet the woman who found it.

“I personally went and inspected the box and it had ballots in it,” said Konopasek. “It had about 100 ballots in it that were deposited in the hour that it wasn’t completely secured.”

This comes at a time when there is concern about the possibility of voter fraud and President Donald Trump has claimed that widespread mail-in voting due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 would lead to such fraud, although there has been no evidence yet to support these claims.

Any voters who dropped off their ballot between 11:40 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. at the Sycamore park and ride location can track its progress, and if there are any concerns they can contact the registrar of voters for a new ballot.

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