Swing-state voters received multiple ballots

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The Republican Party of Virginia is urging election officials to investigate allegations of “double-balloting” in five counties in the swing state where party leaders say they’ve had reports of absentee voters being mailed multiple ballots for this year’s election.

Lauren Carter Mann, 23, is one such voter. Mann told The Examiner Tuesday she received two absentee ballots from the Henrico County registrar the same day at her New York City apartment.

“I was just confused, I thought it was really weird,” Mann said. “I actually had no idea what to do, I had a friend sit down with me and compare the two because I was thinking there was no way they could both be real ballots. They were exactly the same though.”

Republican party officials in Virginia say they have confirmed duplicate ballot mailings coming from registrars in Henrico, Fairfax, Chesterfield, Petersburg and Virginia Beach.

Staff working for Virginia Secretary of Elections Nancy Rodrigues said she would issue a letter responding to the complaints Wednesday, but they were not able to provide an advance statement.

Cleta Mitchell, general consul for the Republican Party of Virginia, said party leaders asked Rodrigues to stop processing absentee ballots until there has been an analysis done of which localities mailed duplicate ballots.

In a letter to Rodrigues, Mitchell said: “We trust that you share our concern and recognition of the potential for this mistake to undermine the integrity of the upcoming Election ...”

According to Mitchell, Rodrigues e-mailed all local registrars late Friday telling them to stop processing absentee ballots until further guidance from her office Tuesday.

Fairfax County registrar Rokey Suleman said duplicate absentee balloting happens every year, typically with military voters who fill out federal postcard applications for absentee ballots that are good for two federal elections. Some inadvertently reapply for absentee voting the following election, without knowing a ballot was on the way.

Suleman acknowledged there are “less than 12” people on Fairfax County’s rolls who may have received duplicate ballots from postcard applications, but said two ballots from the same voter would never both be processed.

“The system has safeguards to prevent two votes from counting,” Suleman said. “We have in the system that Joe Doe has returned an absentee ballot, so if a second comes in from the same person, it would be automatically voided.”


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