Merced County ballot error: At least a dozen precincts affected

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ByNico Payne via KFSN logo
Saturday, October 15, 2022
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With the November midterm elections just weeks away, city leaders in Merced are pushing for more transparency from the county elections office.

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- With the November midterm elections just weeks away, city leaders in Merced are pushing for more transparency from the county elections office.

This comes after a number of voters received ballots with errors on them which Merced County and the California Secretary of State's office is now investigating.

The mistakes are believed to be related to the redistricting process, with at least a dozen voting districts believed to be affected. Instructions will be sent to voters on how to identify, complete, and return the correct ballot.

"It makes me very anxious; I think hearing that some ballots did not come in some ballots are late or some ballots have mistakes or not candidates at all," explained Pangcha Vang, Merced County voter.

Voters and community leaders in Merced said they have been left with more questions than answers when pressing the Merced County Elections Office about discrepancies on the voters' ballots for the upcoming November elections.

RELATED: Some Merced County residents getting incorrect races on mail-in ballots

"We need to know again how many people didn't get their ballots, how many people got ballots that have errors in them, how is the county going to, actually going to resolve this," said Fue Xion, Merced City Council Candidate for District 6.

Late Friday afternoon, the county elections office released a statement explaining how at least a dozen precincts had been affected in Merced County.

"We did identify some precinct issues associated with the redistricting process that resulted in some ballots containing incorrect local races," said Mike North, Public Information Officer with Merced County.

Affected areas include certain regions of Los Banos, Santa Nella, Gustine and Merced. Voters with errors on their ballot will be issued new ballots which are being printed this weekend, expected to be mailed out on Monday.

"What we really saw was there were several delays with the census and that led to essentially a truncated window for us to redraw the lines, make all the necessary adjustments," added North.

Merced City council members plan to look further into the mishap including asking for more time if need be.

"That is really concerning because we're not very far away from the 9th, and if they made a mistake, they need to give more time for the voters to be able to vote," said Bertha Perez, with Merced City Council, representing District 3.

Regardless of the errors, the deadline for all voters still stands, you must have your ballot in by 8 p.m. on election day.

As for how these errors ended up on the ballots in the first place, remains under investigation.