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San Diego County Registrar accidentally sends around 7,500 duplicate ballots

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office in Kearny Mesa, June 4, 2018.
Megan Wood
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office in Kearny Mesa, June 4, 2018.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office found that around 1% of voters for the Nov. 7 special election may have received duplicate ballots, it was announced Wednesday.

According to the registrar, the mistake impacts voters in the county Board of Supervisors District 4 special election and less than a dozen voters in the city of Chula Vista special election.

Following discovery of the duplicate ballots, the registrar's office "immediately contacted the print and mailing vendor to determine what happened and how many voters were impacted," according to a statement from the office. "After researching, they reported that around 7,500 or a little over 1% of voters out of the nearly 600,000 voters who were mailed a ballot, have inadvertently received a duplicate mail ballot packet."

Get general information about the election, news coverage, an interactive ballot guide, and results on election day.

One of the two ballot packets had already been suspended in the computer system and should not have been mailed. A notice has already been mailed to affected voters, notifying them of the error and to inform them that they may vote and return either ballot.

Voters were instructed to destroy the unused ballot. If the voter uses the suspended ballot the system will automatically set aside that ballot envelope. That ballot will be counted if and only if that is the only ballot returned by the voter.

"The process of suspending a mail ballot packet is one of the safeguards in place to ensure only one ballot from a single voter is allowed to be counted," the statement reads. "The barcode on each return envelope is tracked and when suspended, our system will stop it from being processed."

The Nov. 7 election will include:

  • The special runoff election for the Fourth Supervisorial District to fill Nathan Fletcher's vacant seat for the remainder of the current term ending in January 2027;
  • The special election for the city of Chula Vista to fill the vacant seat for city attorney for the remainder of the current term ending in December 2026 following the 2022 election of the deceased Simon Silva; and
  • Voters who live in the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Rainbow Municipal Water District will vote on a ballot measure to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority, a vote which could be rendered moot by machinations in Sacramento.

Early voting began Monday at the Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa. Hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


According to the registrar's office, voters can cast ballots from home through the mail — no postage needed — or to any of the its official ballot drop boxes in the specific districts starting Tuesday through the final day of voting Nov. 7.

More options to vote in person start Oct. 28. Voters can use any vote center around the county. Select vote centers will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the final day of voting, Nov. 7, when all vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters can find an official ballot drop box or vote center near them inside the voter information pamphlet, or looking it up online at