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Over 100 Contra Costa Voters Cast Two Ballots In June Primary

MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – The Contra Costa County Elections Division has identified a loophole that allowed more than 100 of the county's voters to have two ballots counted during the June primary, the county division announced Friday morning.

There were 113 registered voters who allegedly exploited an ambiguity in an election statute's interpretation to vote twice in the June 7 election. The potential cases of voter fraud are being referred to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Joe Canciamilla, the county's elections chief, explained that people with vote-by-mail ballots were able to surrender a ballot at a polling place and then vote again within a certain window of time.

The state's current interpretation of election statute apparently does not provide a means of detecting or preventing the fraud until it is too late.

Canciamilla said he believes Contra Costa County may be one of the few counties in the state that has tried to track the voter fraud. It's something the county elections division did deliberately to highlight the problem.

"This particular weakness in the system needs to be fixed, and it wouldn't be hard to do," Canciamilla said.

County elections officials are requesting the California Secretary of State's office amend practices for surrendering vote-by-mail ballots to prevent further fraud cases in the November election.

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