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Voters receive ?real, live, wrong ballots?

Sara Watson Arthurs  

A Rohnerville voter was surprised to get a chance to vote in the Cuddeback school district.

The names of candidates for the Cuddeback school board, which is located in Carlotta, appeared on absentee ballots sent to Rohnerville voters, Humboldt County Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams said Thursday.

He said the error was made by Sequoia Voting Systems, the Porterville-based company the county contracted with to print the ballots. McWilliams said a Rohnerville voter called to tell him she?d received the incorrect ballot on Thursday.

?As best we are able to determine, at least 900 voters are affected,? he said.

McWilliams said Sequoia Voting Systems was the cheaper of the county?s two options for printing ballots. The same company printed the sample ballots, McWilliams said.

But the ballots with the error were actual absentee ballots, not samples.

?These are real, live ballots,? McWilliams said. ?Real, live, wrong ballots.?

He added that, despite recent complaints about the local postal service, elections materials have been delivered quickly.

?The U.S. Postal Service in Eureka has operated at light speed to get our absentee ballots and sample ballots through to voters,? he said.

Sequoia Voting Systems is printing correct ballots, which should be in the mail by Saturday, McWilliams said.

Rohnerville residents should send in these correct ballots, which will have white envelopes, not the incorrect ballots in yellow envelopes they received today. McWilliams said computer codes should catch any incorrect ballots.

?No one?s going to vote twice, and everyone?s going to get an opportunity to vote the correct ballot,? he said.

Alfie Charles, spokesman for Sequoia Voting Systems, said the company ?will work with the county to do whatever needs to be done? to correct the problem.

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