Stephenson Co. Clerk addresses report of ‘spoiled ballot’ in Freeport

Voting booth
Voting booth(MGN)
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 4:35 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - On the last day of voting in the November midterm elections, a ballot in Freeport raises questions of legitimacy at the polls.

The Stephenson County Clerk received a report Tuesday that a voter in Freeport received a “spoiled ballot,” which had been marked before being given to the voter.

According to a statement from County Clerk Vici Otte, she along with State’s Attorney Carl Larson and a Freeport police officer promptly investigated the matter at the polling place where the incident happened.

“Upon review it was discovered that one voter was accidentally given two ballots which had stuck together,” Otte said. “The voter filled out the front and back of this ballot before realizing (they) had received two ballots.”

Otte said that the initial voter realized they had multiple ballots and returned one to an election worker, who didn’t realize it had been partially filled out.

“The election worker did not realize that the back of the ballot had been filled in and provided it to the next voter in line,” she said.

Naturally, when the next voter saw their ballot had already been marked, they reported the incident.

“A member of the Freeport Police Department interviewed the election worker involved, collected the ballot and reviewed the ballots to be handed out,” said Otte. “None of the additional ballots contained any inappropriate markings.”

The Stephenson County Clerk extends her appreciation to the Freeport Police Department for their role in the investigation.

“We have a great community of people dedicated to free and fair elections and we are confident that this was a one off issue.”