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Valley woman mistakenly receives 2 mail-in ballots

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 00:42:19-05

A valley woman was accidentally given two chances to vote in the special election for congressional district eight. 

Evie Hendrick, from Glendale, said she received two mail-in ballots. Her husband decided they should alert Maricopa County election officials. 

"Very surprised.  Made us wonder what happens when someone gets two," said Hendrick. 

The Maricopa County Recorder's office wanted to figure it out too.  The special election to replace former Congressman Trent Franks is already hotly contested without ballot blunders. 

"It has a lot to do with how the country's run," Evie said, talking about the importance of protecting the election process. 

The County Recorder narrowed down the problem to an automation slip up. Hendrick registered to vote in 1989 and again when she renewed her driver's license last year.         

Because the two registrations required different information and the birthday was written differently the automated system that checks for duplicates missed the mistake.

The County Recorder said election officials would never have caught the oops on their own, meaning both ballots would have counted had Hendrick wanted to vote twice (she didn't). 

"I will destroy one and use one," she said. 

The county recorder said this situation is extremely rare and unlikely to happen again.  Additionally, the state is putting in a new system with more thorough data checks later this year.  Until then, election officials hope all voters are as honest as Hendrick. 

"I'm glad it was brought out so that other people will realize that it can happen," she said.