Summit County voter faces issue at the polls
November 8, 2016
While Melva Picchietti and her 28-year-old daughter waited to cast their votes Tuesday morning at the Sheldon Richins Building in Kimball Junction, they joked about the conspiracy theories surrounding voter fraud and the election.
"My daughter and I were just in awe listening to the people in line. Some were saying how their votes cancel each other's out and we were just giggling the whole time. It was the funniest 45-minute wait," said Picchietti, who lives in Pinebrook.
But, when Picchietti attempted to vote, she was told there was a problem. The poll assistants said an absentee ballot had already been submitted on her behalf, even though, she says, her mail-in ballot was at home on her kitchen counter.
"I tried to speak to the person in charge to explain to him what happened and they kind of tried to blow it off," Picchietti said. "Eventually, they gave me a card and I went and voted. They kept telling me not to worry about it. They tell me at 9:05 a.m. my vote was registered and it voided the other.
"But after I voted I didn't feel right about it. This is exactly what my daughter and I were talking about," Picchietti said. "It makes me sick. How did someone request and physically get a ballot for me? I'm conservative and I voted for Trump, which makes me question it a little more."
On Tuesday, most voters encountered long lines at the polling locations, however, few have experienced similar problems, according to Kellie Robinson, chief deputy clerk. She said "things seem to be going OK," adding she had not heard of any glaring issues from poll workers.
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"Most of what I had seen were people who weren't registered or were inactive and are just showing up," Robinson said. "We also have those who just want to vote in person and they are creating longer lines for those who didn't get a ballot or have to vote at the polls."
As of noon time on Tuesday, the Clerk's Office had received approximately 15,000 return ballots. Since the county switched to a mail-in system, several registered voters claimed to have received their ballots late or not at all.
But, Picchietti doesn't blame the system for the confusion. She said a mistake was made and "I think it is voter fraud. How else do you explain that?"
"We are from Chicago so dead people voting is nothing new to us, but you don't think it will happen here," Picchietti said. "You see stuff on television of people voting illegally and then to have someone vote for me just sent me through the roof.
"Everything is always explained as a mistake but no one ever takes accountability. Everyone was trying to explain away what happened," she said. "I already know my vote doesn't matter much here anyway, but I still feel violated."
To view the preliminary results of the election, go to http://summitcounty.org/288/Election-Results-Archives.
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