CYPRESS : Absentee Ballot Snafu Might Delay Vote Tally

Unofficial results from next Tuesday’s recall election may not be known until Thursday, officials in the City Clerk’s Office said.

Deputy City Clerk Lillian Haina said Friday that uncertainty about 1,354 absentee ballots mailed in error last month might delay the tally. Because of a computer mistake, the ballots were erroneously mailed to people who didn’t request them, according to the city’s election consultant, Martin & Chapman Co. of Anaheim.

Haina said that people who received the absentee ballots have been told they can use them and mail them back, or vote in person on election day. “They can’t vote twice, however,” Haina said.

“If they come to the polls, they will have to surrender the absentee ballot mailed to them or else swear that it has been lost or destroyed,” she said, adding that many voters have already returned their absentee ballots.


The delay in tabulating results will be caused if voters who go to the polls without the absentee ballot that had been mailed to them, she said. In those cases, the voter can get a provisional ballot after swearing that the absentee ballot received in the mail was either destroyed or lost.

Election officials will not count the provisional ballots until a close check is made of the signatures of those voters.

Martin & Chapman will not have its election-tallying computers back in Cypress until Thursday, she said, so the unofficial tally may be delayed until then.

The recall election targets three City Council members: Mayor Cecilia L. Age, Councilwoman Gail H. Kerry and Councilman Walter K. Bowman. Nine advisory-vote issues are also on the ballot.