Some St. Joseph County residents voted twice in the November 2012 election and investigators are trying to figure out why.
“I would say six is a lot,” said St. Joseph County Clerk Terri Rethlake. “But you know, it’s the first time we’ve ever been notified that anybody’s tried to do this.”
Rethlake says it appears that six individuals cast absentee ballots before the general election, and then came to the polls on Election Day to vote again.
“I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, people sometimes forget that they voted absentee, and it used to be, before they passed a law a couple of years ago that you could vote absentee and then try to ‘beat your ballot’ to the polls and then they would not count the absentee ballot,” said Rethlake.
The names and addresses of the six voters in question were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. An investigator and a deputy prosecutor have since been assigned to the case. In a letter to election officials dated January 24th, the prosecutor indicates some answers should be forthcoming within 30 days.
An apparent flaw in the system the county uses to track who votes-when is being blamed for the situation. The problem is expected to solve itself as the county switches to ‘vote centers’ and a computerized voter tracking system.