Politics & Government

California Spanish ballots pre-marked for Obama were likely isolated error

The two ballots found in an Oakdale precinct that were handed to a voter already marked for Barack Obama were likely an isolated error, Stanislaus County Clerk Lee Lundrigan said Wednesday.

Lundrigan said poll workers throughout the county checked ballots Tuesday to make sure there weren't more. The premarked ballots were found when a voter requested a ballot printed in Spanish.

He discovered that the presidential part of the ballot was filled out for Obama and pointed it out to the poll workers. They gave him a second ballot, which turned out to also be marked for Obama.

Lundrigan said it looks like in the confusion and long lines when the polls opened Tuesday, a couple of voters were given Spanish ballots by mistake, and they marked the presidential portion before realizing the ballot was in the wrong language for them. They then traded them for English language ballots, and the poll workers, not realizing the ballots had been marked, put them back in the pile of unmarked Spanish ballots.