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Bag Filled With Voter Registration Forms, Personal Info Found Abandoned In East Bay Park

WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) -- A Concord man says he found a bag filled with voter registration forms containing the personal information of two dozen residents while walking his dog near the Pleasant Hill BART station.

Easter Sunday morning, Bob Ericson of Concord was walking his dog on the Iron Horse trail near the BART station when he spotted the bag stuffed full of stacks of paperwork.

"It was already open and the forms were pulled out.  I read the top line and it said "voter registration form," Ericson said.

He posted a photo on Facebook, worrying there might be disenfranchised voters.

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"These people would have showed up on Election Day ready to vote, and unable to because their forms had not been processed.  It would have been terrible," he said.

Assistant Contra Costa County Registrar Scott Konopasek himself saw the Facebook posting, and drove to the park to retrieve the bag Sunday.  He says it turns out someone stole the bag from a woman at a Starbucks.  She's a signature collector for political campaigns, and while they're signing, she also encourages them to register to vote - a process that's perfectly legal.

Apparently the thief ditched the bag in the park nearby.

"Twenty four valid registrations that appear to have been unprocessed," Konopasek said.

That's two dozen potential voters who signed cards; trusting they would be registered with the county.

"This stack is photocopies of registrations, there are duplicates of every registration," Konopasek said.

Copies, but not originals. These cards are believed to have already been sent to the county.

"It's unnerving to see this kind of information laying around," Konopasek said.

County officials say all the recovered paperwork will be sent to Sacramento County, where the signatures were gathered.  Konopasek said the incident serves as a reminder.

"Whenever you involve a 3rd party, you're exposing the privacy of your information to some type of risk," Konopasek said.


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