More than 1,500 San Bernardino County voters received two ballots in recent weeks for the June 7 primary election.
In a letter dated May 13 sent to affected voters, Michael Jimenez, the county’s interim registrar of voters, said a second ballot was being delivered due to a “clerical error” in the original mailing.
“The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters inadvertently sent you an incorrect mail ballot,” the letter reads in part, “and as a result, a new mail ballot is enclosed.”
Voters were instructed to disregard the first ballot they received and use the replacement that accompanied the May 13 letter.
“ROV identified a clerical issue where a small number of registered voters received an incorrect Voter Information Guide (VIG) and mail ballot,” Melissa Eickman, spokesperson for the registrar’s office, wrote in an email.
According to Eickman, the error impacted 1,540 registered voters across the county’s five supervisorial districts.
The registrar’s office “developed a quick response in which each registered voter was notified by mail on May 13 explaining the situation along with the correct vote-by-mail ballot and a link to the correct VIG,” Eickman said. “ROV has placed additional resources and stages of review in place for this process in the future.”
Of the voters who received two ballots, 358 of them were in Fontana, 277 in San Bernardino, 241 in Ontario and 239 in Rancho Cucamonga. The rest are scattered in the cities and communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Bloomington, Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Landers, Montclair, Needles, Phelan, Pioneertown, Redlands, Rialto, Sugarloaf, Twenty Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley.
Cathy Lara, the San Bernardino County GOP’s “election integrity director,” said she was “very concerned” about the two sets of ballots sent to voters.
“This potentially can affect free and fair voting,” she wrote in an email. “I am also concerned that this could potentially impact the outcome of several races in this voting cycle.”
As of Wednesday, May 25, the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters has mailed out 1.16 million ballots. Ballots must be postmarked by no later than June 7 to be counted in the primary election. Alternately, ballots can be dropped off at 76 drop-boxes around the county. A map of drop-box locations is available at SBCountyElections.com.
For those who prefer to vote early and in person, there are five early voting sites available, including the registrar’s office in San Bernardino, along with the Town of Apple Valley Conference Center, Joshua Tree Community Center, Ontario Conference Center and Victorville City Hall. For more information, visit SBCountyElections.com or consult the Voter Information Guide mailed to all registered voters in the county.
The county reported it had received 50,345 completed ballots by May 25. That puts voter turnout at 4.42% so far, ahead of the 2018 primary election when 38,032 ballots, or 4.22%, had been returned two weeks before the election.