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Yuma County Accidentally Sends Out 500 Duplicate Early Ballots

The Yuma County Recorder's Office is assuring voters that the Aug. 29 election will run smoothly. This comes after the county accidentally sent out duplicate ballots.

The upcoming election will be the first time Yuma County has used a new automated system to stuff ballot envelopes and send them to voters.

The county recorder says human error ended up doubling up names after misprinted ballots were corrected and sent out.

The early ballots were sent out for the city of Yuma's election — of those, 574 were duplicated. That's out of 24,000 total voters.

Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette says if a voter sends in two filled-out ballots, a separate system that counts them will alert officials someone tried to vote twice — and that's illegal.

"We only had about four or five calls from voters that told us, but I think it is confusing because of the few we spoke with, they immediately believed that it was possible to vote twice" she said.

The new system cost about $500,000, and Stallworth Pouquette says it will save costs over the next 8 years.

Stallworth Pouquette says human error while inputting names and addresses led to the additional ballots.

"If you were mailed three or four packages, hypothetically, your first returned ballot would be processed and any additional returns, it would be impossible to accept those, we would log those as a voter attempted to vote twice," she said.

Stallworth Pouquette says the tabulating process uses a different system, so the results would not be affected by this error.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.