Ballot box found strewn in Glendale street on election night, police say

Glendale police on Tuesday night seized an open red ballot box that was found strewn on the roadway at Chevy Chase Drive, officials said.

The ballot box, which was discovered about 9:20 p.m. on Chevy Chase Drive, fell off the top of a car of an inspector who had just wrapped up operations at a polling place in a home garage, said Efrain Escobedo, a manager for the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder.

The inspector went to City Hall to check in and hand over election material when he noticed the box, which contained ballots from registered voters in the area, was missing, he said.

“It was a scary moment for us,” Escobedo said.

The inspector, who has worked 12 elections for the county, was not allowed to check in and was immediately asked to return to the location in the 600 block of Glenandale Terrace to retrace his steps, Escobedo said.

Meanwhile, county election officials sent out a troubleshooting team to comb the area for any missing ballots, but when the team arrived, they discovered that a Glendale couple had already notified police, who took the ballot box to headquarters for safekeeping.

Escobedo said the team did not find any loose ballots after an extensive search of the area.

Election officials were “grateful” that the residents reported the finding to police, and that an officer picked up the box before they arrived in the area, Escobedo said.

After retrieving the box and other election materials, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials delivered the ballots to a county clerk's office in Norwalk.

Election officials are still processing the ballots, and are “hopeful” that they will all be accounted for, Escobedo said.

The counted ballots will be checked against a roster of voters who signed in at the polling station Tuesday, he added.

Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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