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Nov 3, 2010 9:35 PM by Nancy Chen

Voters complain about vote-by-mail ballots

In an election, every vote is supposed to count, but some local voters were wondering if theirs did.

One Oceano voter said she showed up to cast her ballot yesterday, only to be told she was registered to vote by mail instead of at the polls.

She says she saw others there with the same problem and that they were given special ballots called provisional ballots.

The county has to verify those ballots before they're counted.

"If there were three of us within maybe a 10- to 15-minute period, how many other people have the same situation?" asked Christie Hawks, the Oceano voter.

The county says about 85% of those provisional ballots end up being valid.

"It's a protection against someone being able to vote twice--that they voted vote-by-mail ballot and then they also go to the polls and cast a regular ballot," said Julie Rodewald, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder.

She added that people can take themselves off the vote-by-mail list by contacting the elections office.

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