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Estimated 1 to 2 Dozen Ballots Found in Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara County Says

The investigation continues after a woman reported finding a bag stuffed with completed Santa Clara County ballots in a ravine in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The ballots reportedly ended up in a torn bag off Sugarloaf Road near Highway 17.

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters issued a statement obtained by NBC Bay Area on Sunday which outlines what information the county has learned since this was first reported to officials on Friday.

The Registrar of Voters said that the ballots “were found along with other non-election mail, including letters and parcels.”

“It appears that these ballots are voted ballots that went missing while they were in the possession of the USPS before they could be delivered to the Registrar of Voters,” the statement from the registrar continued.

The Santa Clara County ROV said it is “very concerned about this unfortunate incident” and is working with the USPS to resolve this. At this point, the county said there is no indication these ballots were taken from any vote center or ballot box.

The ROV said it had contacted the US Postal Service so that it could investigate. Once the USPS investigation is over, ROV said it plans to get the ballots back.

But what happens after that is still unclear, the statement from the county went on to say, “the ROV needs to review election law to determine whether these ballots can be included in the official election results.”

The county noted that it doesn’t know yet exactly how many ballots are impacted, but the initial estimate is one to two dozen ballots. The county also reminded voters that they can track whether their ballot has been received and counted on the ROV website. Similar resources are available in other counties and statewide through the California Secretary of State.

Two residents in San Jose who did not want to be identified told NBC Bay Area that they zoomed in on the photos released of the documents in the ravine and they believe based on signatures and addresses shown that their ballots were in that group. These individuals said they dropped off their ballots Sunday November 6, in the same USPS box on Payne Avenue in West San Jose. That is the same USPS box where two other individuals who spoke with NBC Bay Area said they had dropped off their ballots as well.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to USPS for comment but has not heard back.

Any voters who have questions about their ballot are encouraged to contact the Santa Clara County Registrar of voters.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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