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Side-by-side drop boxes in Redding cause ballot mix-up on Election Day

Utility Payment Drop Box and the Voter Ballot Drop Box at Redding City Hall

Past results have shown an election can come down to a handful of votes. A mix up between two drop off boxes at the Redding City Hall on Tuesday had voters questioning if they put their ballot in the right place.

The mix up happened to one Shasta County voter, Joey Knowles, 46, who is voting in the 2018 Midterm Election for the first time. Knowles said he had his ballot and his wife's ballot in hand and placed them in the wrong drop box by accident around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"I just showed up to put them in the drop box and I stuck them in the utility payment box instead," Knowles said, worried their ballots may not count.

Shasta County Clerk, Cathy Darling Allen, said the mix up has happened to many voters over the past four years.

"Occasionally a ballot will go into the Utility Drop Box and sometimes a utility payment will go into the ballot drop box by mistake, and so we have an agreement with the City of Redding," Darling Allen said.

Darling Allen guaranteed there is no concern ballots are being dropped in the wrong place.

"If the utility box is secure enough to hold checks, it is secure enough to hold ballots," Darling Allen added she trusts City employees handling the utility box as well.

KRCR asked voters whether or not they think the side by side drop boxes are confusing.

"I've actually never came here to vote so I was just reading the side of it. Once I noticed it, yeah, but I could see how you would be confused."

"It's confusing but it says 'vote here' and 'utility box' so it should be pretty obvious."

Darling Allen said at this time the County is not considering moving the Voters Ballot Box away from the Utility Payment Drop Box.

"Absolutely not. It's our most popular drop box. We get more ballots dropped off at that installed drop box than any other drop box in the county," Darling Allen added.

Mail in ballots must be post marked by 8 p.m. Tuesday night.


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