By Cameron Glenn

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento election officials are urging people concerned about getting COVID-19 from their voter ballot not to use hand sanitizer on it because it could ruin the ballot.

A handful of Sacramento County voters were recently issued replacement ballots after they destroyed them by treating the ballots with hand sanitizer or microwaving them, according to Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections public information officer Janna Haynes.

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Hand sanitizer smears the ink on the page rendering it unreadable to tabulation machines.

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“Voters do not need to be wary of covid-19 exposure on their ballot paper or any of the contents inside their mailed envelope,” said Haynes. “Not only is the risk of exposure on a paper surface low, the ballot paper inside your mailer has been untouched for at least a week from the time it was stuffed, taken to USPS, and in transit to your mailbox.”

The county has reissued about 100 ballots so far, although not all of the problems were related to this particular issue. The county says it will continue to reissue ballots through Election Day.

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In the event that a mail-in ballot arrives at the county election office that cannot be read by the tabulator, the ballot can still be read by hand.