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What is double voting, signature matching, and what happens if you lose your ballot

Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 20, 2024
  • Video shows the Kern County Elections Division, ballot sorters, and signature matching process.
  • The Primary Election is two weeks away and by now you should have received a sample ballot and mail-in ballot. If you haven’t, here’s what you need to know.

The Primary Election is two weeks away and by now you should have received a sample ballot and mail-in ballot. If you haven’t, here’s what you need to know.

Registered voters are guaranteed the opportunity to vote and have that vote counted in the Primary Election. If you’ve lost your ballot or anything has happened to it, you can request a replacement from the Elections Division.

If you send in a ballot but are concerned and decide to vote on election day at a poll site, only one ballot will be counted.

Assistant Registrar of Voters Laura Cantu said they have systems in place to ensure no instances of double voting. If a ballot signature is unable to be verified, a letter will be sent to the voter.

“It happens. We hear it’s not intentional, we hear some voters thought maybe we weren’t going to receive it on time. Or perhaps they forgot, but our system does catch that," Cantu said. “Cure letters is what we call them."

Once ballots come in, the signature on the envelope and ballot are compared to what elections has on file. Staff are required to go through a four hour training in order to be able to verify a signature.

“Looking at slants and again just the similarity of loops and that is how that process is handled for signature verification," said Cantu.

Voters whose ballot signatures do not match records will have the opportunity to still vote during the cure period. According to state law, voters have until 5 p.m. two days prior to the certification of the election to verify their signature with the elections department locally.

Following the Primary Election, a Special Election for the 20th Congressional District is scheduled for March 19. Kern County voters will receive another ballot for that race.

If you've lost your ballot or haven't received one, reach out to the Elections Division at (661) 868-


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