The California Secretary of State’s office is taking exception to the Contra Costa County elections chief’s call for a change in how vote-by-mail voters are accommodated at election-day polling places, and wants to see evidence backing allegations made last week that following state rules allowed double-voting in the June 7 primary election. Secretary of State spokesman Sam Mahood said Monday his office as asked Contra Costa Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla to provide evidence that 113 people successfully voted twice in the primary election in that county. Canciamilla said this week he will comply.
At issue is whether voters in Contra Costa who come to polling places on election day wanting a different ballot from the one they were issued through the mail should be required to fill out provisional ballots. That goes against state election law, which says such voters who surrender complete mail-in ballots simply be allowed to cast a standard ballot of their choice behind the curtain.
Contra Costa had required provisional ballots in such circumstances over the past three years, but the day before the June primary, Canciamilla agreed to suspend the practice and conform to state protocol at the request of the Secretary of State’s office. A rush of Bernie Sanders supporters were urged to cast polling-place ballots, instead of mail-ins or provisionals, to guarantee their votes were counted on election night.