Can You Vote Twice If You Get Two Ballots?

11 News had a viewer who got two election ballots in the mail.

We asked El Paso County election officials if this is something they have seen before. They told us yes, that it happens every election.

But they want voters to know they are prepared for it, and that no one will get two votes.

Rebecca Johnston contacted 11 News after getting two ballots with her name on them in the mail.

She got one Tuesday, then another Wednesday. She tells us she is concerned about voter fraud.

“I was really surprised because I know this election is going to be so close and that there’s a possibility that people may vote twice,” said Johnston.

Election officials tell us duplicate ballots happen to less than one percent of voters.

“We put protections in place to not allow the ballot to be counted and that's the part that matters, is we don't count those ballots. We know they’re out there, we know they exist, we know it happens; the important part is the counting part,” said Alissa Vander Veen, Deputy Chief and Spokesperson for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

The ballot has to go through four steps before the vote is counted.

"There’s no way it can get passed that first stage because there is no way it can go on to the next stage without clearing the first stage,” said Vander Veen.

That’s because each ballot has a bar-code, and that bar-code is registered to a specific voter.

Election officials say the computer system that scans the ballots is designed to make sure only one ballot is counted for each voter.

Then the ballot has to go through signature verification, to make sure the signature on the ballot matches the signature in the voter’s registration system.

It is a very complicated process. There are several steps and details along with this process and rules they have to follow, as well as what they do if they believe voter fraud is involved.

But bottom line, if you get two ballots in the mail, call election officials at 575- VOTE (8683).

They’ll have you read a number off the ballot and tell you which one to fill out and which ballot to shred.

There could be endless minor reasons a voter is sent a new ballot. But it happens mostly when a change is made to their voter registration, specifically like a new name or address, or changes in mail-ballot applications.

“The system is designed for that because we recognize that people they lose a ballot, or the post office doesn’t deliver it, so when they are requesting that other one, both may show up,” said Vander Veen.

If you want to learn more about the process and mail-in ballot goes through, visit this YouTube video created by the county clerk and recorder’s office:

You can still apply for a mail-in ballot until Tuesday, October 30.

For more information about that or election questions you can call officials at the number mentioned above or visit this link.

If you would like to check to see if you mail-in ballot made it to the election office, click here.