How to steal an election: steal the ballots

There is a story circulating on the news wires on how someone stole balloting materials just before Tuesday’s California primary elections in Fresno … but was caught. Here’s the relevant part of the report from the Fresno Bee:

A Sanger man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing 1,000 blank election ballots, two voting machines and a bag containing other supplies that had been assigned to a poll worker in Fresno.

Victor Salazar, Fresno County clerk, said an investigation by Fresno County sheriff’s deputies was started when a worker in charge of the election equipment failed to show up Tuesday morning at her polling station at 8234 E. Belmont Ave.

Salazar said the worker, Regina Pico, 19, was trained as an inspector at the polling place and had been given the blank ballots and other equipment for setting up the station.

Pico had stored the property in a garage on East Garrett Avenue in southeast Fresno. She told investigators that when she when she got ready to report to the polling station about 3 a.m. Tuesday, the election equipment was gone.

Salazar said when his office was notified of the missing ballots, they were declared void so they could not be used.

Another inspector was sent to the polling station with replacement ballots and equipment. Salazar estimated the value of the voting machines at $3,500 to $5,000 each.