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Election Day ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Investigation Ongoing In Sutter County

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Sutter County elections office is investigating a complaint of suspicious activity, including individuals possibly filling out ballots for other voters outside polling places, during last week’s election.

Registrar of voters Donna Johnston says the county received a call from a local church and poll workers, who claimed that people in the parking lot were calling at voters as they entered.

Undersheriff Jeff Pierce says a man in a white Chevy Silverado with red dealer plates was seen filling out a ballot for another voter, who later went inside the polling place.

“A clerk made contact with the male voter and told him that it was illegal to have someone fill out their ballot,” Pierce wrote in an email. The suspected vehicle had left the scene before deputies arrived.

The practice of filling out another person’s ballot is called “ballot harvesting.”

Pierce said the office was still investigating when asked if any car dealerships in Yuba and Sutter counties had been contacted.

“Deputies made checks of other polling places, but could not locate the vehicle,” Pierce wrote. “A report was taken. However, finding the suspect and vehicle will be difficult.”

Johnston says employees are reviewing ballots from St. Andrews and Andros Karperos School to check for votes that may have been changed, or that have other irregularities.

As of Monday morning, about 25,000 ballots had been tallied. Johnston says 9,000 still need to be processed.

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