PUEBLO, Colo. — Officials at the City Clerk's Office tell News5 that some voters in Pueblo may have received duplicate ballots for the mayoral runoff election.
A spokesperson with the City of Pueblo says that they first learned about the problem last week from voters.
If you did get a second ballot, city officials say to only vote once, and destroy the duplicate. If two ballots are cast, the duplicate will be caught and verified in order to prevent voter fraud.
WATCH: VOTERS IN PUEBLO MAY HAVE RECEIVED DUPLICATE BALLOTS, HERE'S WHAT TO DO
The Pueblo City Clerk, Marisa Stoller said duplicate ballots are common in any election.
“There will always be a few people that get duplicate ballots,” Stoller said.
Stoller said some pueblo voters have received multiple ballots for the pueblo mayor run off election.
“We're not so concerned about the ballots that go out, we're more concerned about the ballots that come in to be counted," Stoller said.
She said duplicates can happen when voter rolls are updated, which is maintained by the county.
Former Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz agrees with Stoller. He said if someone changes their address, name, or voter information, they could receive two ballots.
“People have changed their registration. They change their affiliation, they change their address, they've added things, and sometimes those things generate a new ballot,” Ortiz said.
In a response to News5, the Pueblo County Elections Office sent an email saying that it's the responsibility of the designated election official, in this case, the Pueblo City Clerk...to ensure duplicate ballots and quality control information is handled in accordance with state and local law. They go on to say when they sent the voter list to the Pueblo City Clerk, they discussed with them concerns involving duplicate ballots and explained how to ensure duplicate ballots would not go out to voters participating in the election.
But city clerk Stoller said there is nothing that can be done to prevent duplicate ballots in future elections.
"If you did go in and update your address in the system. They wouldn't send it to your new address if we didn't do this, so it does kind of have to be done,” Stoller said.
While some voters are getting multiple ballots, others have not received any.
“One is that they got their ballot but there is not actually a ballot in the ballot envelopes,” Stoller said.
If two ballots are cast, the duplicate will be caught during the verification process in order to prevent voter fraud. She said people have also reported some of the envelopes mailed out did not contain a ballot inside.
“They are not being stuffed by hand, they are by machine so the machine probably skipped one,” Stoller said.
The clerk said it is common for a few to be missed.
“It's not really a way to avoid it in this situation. There's always gonna be a few duplicate ballots here. The printer is going to mess up and I'm not seeing some of them out because we're gonna be smeared when you're printing that number of ballots it's gonna be a huge amount,” Stoller said.
She said of the 67,000 ballots mailed out, less than 1% were impacted.
"We sent out 67,000 ballots and are only going to get back maybe 20,000 ballots and so making sure that those ones that are coming back in our gonna be counted only gonna be counted once is the main concern,” Stoller said.
According to Stoller, this is the first election in nearly 20 years the city of pueblo is running, typically it is done through the county's office. She said that's because the county is too busy preparing for the presidential primary in march.
Stoller wants to remind people it is against the law to vote twice. She said any names of people who attempt to vote twice will be given to attorneys for prosecution..
Last week, News5 got of tour of the election facility in Pueblo.
WATCH: PUEBLO PRIORITIZING BALLOT SECURITY AHEAD OF MAYORAL RUNOFF ELECTION
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