New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses
Voters in New York City said they received their mail-in ballots this week but were surprised to find they were printed with the wrong names and voter IDs and included incorrect return labels.
Some voters said they received absentee ballots mislabeled as the official ballot for military members, while others said the envelope meant to return their ballot did not bear their name or address.
According to the New York Post, the ballots labeled as military ballots were misprinted in Queens and experts say it will not change how those votes are tallied.
“There’s just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are supposed to do with them,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told the Post. “People were already not trusting this process and they were already not trusting the Board of Elections to count the ballot right.”
The Gothamist reports that in Brooklyn, voters received incorrect return envelopes with different names and addresses.
Called the BOE, they’re sending a replacement ballot, but, uh, had me in their system with the wrong birthdate. (It’s always been fine before!)
I’m absolutely going to vote in person now.
— Barry Petchesky (@barry) September 28, 2020
Well, I was going to tweet about how the ballot that I just received is so poorly designed they must not want you to actually vote, but then I noticed that @BOENYC sent me someone else’s ballot. What am I supposed to do now? (Actual question)
— Dan Levitan (@DanLevitan) September 28, 2020
PSA: brooklyn absentee voters! I received my absentee ballot today with the wrong name/address/voter ID on the ballot envelope. brooklyn BOE says this mess up affected at least 500 voters but up to 123k. please *check your envelopes* and call your BOE if you find anything amiss!! pic.twitter.com/Vvpw2CjnCA
— allie #insulin4all (she/her) (@autoimmuneallie) September 28, 2020
I received someone else’s return envelope in my #AbsenteeBallot. I just got off the phone with an operator at .@BOENYC and they said this has happened to a lot of people. Double check your ballots. .@NYCMayor .@NYGovCuomo @Gothamist @nytimes @NY1 @NYDailyNews @nypost pic.twitter.com/88Qlwi9VBK
— rama (@ramagu4ever) September 28, 2020
Imagine my surprise, @BOENYC, to have opened my absentee ballot envelope today, only to find 1) a military ballot (does not apply to me), 2) with someone else’s name and address on it. This is of grave concern. pic.twitter.com/8nU3L2a3wd
— Debi Cornwall (@DebiCornwall) September 28, 2020
Voters are required to sign their names on their ballot to return it to be counted, meaning the mislabeled return envelopes would likely be voided if mailed in because the names and signatures would not match.
The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) told The Hill that the error was made by a vendor, Phoenix Graphics, that was contracts to print and mail the ballots for Brooklyn and Queens voters.
“We are determining how many voters have been affected but we can assure that the vendor will addresses this problem in future mailings, and make sure people who received erroneous envelopes receive new ones,” BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan said in an emailed statement. “We will ensure on behalf of the voters in Brooklyn that the proper ballots and ballot envelopes are in the hands of the voters in advance of Election Day so they can vote.”
Around 140,000 ballots in the area have already been mailed. It is not yet clear how many are affected by the error. Some people who tweeted about receiving the wrong ballot had already been in contact with BOE and learned they would receive a new ballot.
Anyone affected should contact Apply4Absentee@boe.nyc or 1-866-VOTE-NYC.
The BOE also tweeted, alerting voters to the error.
— NYCBoardOfElections (@BOENYC) September 29, 2020
A message from The NYC Board of Elections regarding all absentee ballots pic.twitter.com/RqmWfuym3l
— NYCBoardOfElections (@BOENYC) September 28, 2020
The confusion comes as mail-in voting has been at the center of debate this election cycle due to the coronavirus pandemic, as states are pushing for voting by mail instead of in-person.
President Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the election and alleged that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud. Democrats, however, have called for expanding absentee ballots and mail-in ballots.
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