A number of voters in New York City on Monday received absentee ballots with return envelopes mislabeled with a different voter’s name and address, adding to the chaos surrounding the influx of mail-in voting this election season.
The city’s Board of Elections attributed the incorrect envelopes to “an outside vendor error.” A private company was contracted to print and mail the ballot packets, according to Gothamist and WNYC.
Initially, voters were instructed to contact the Board of Elections to receive a correct envelope. But by Tuesday afternoon, the board said all voters “potentially affected” will receive a new ballot packet “to make certain absolutely no disenfranchisement occurs,” Mike Ryan, the board’s executive director, said at a public board meeting.
All of the incorrect envelopes were distributed in one batch in Brooklyn, Ryan said, but election officials do not have exact data on who received the mislabeled envelopes.
Returning the ballot with the wrong voter’s name and address would render it invalid.
Across the country, the surge in mail-in voting and a flurry of changing voting procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused headaches for many voters and election officials.
For New York City voters, this is the second ballot printing error this week. Earlier Monday, election officials said the absentee ballots have been mislabeled “absentee military ballot.” The ballots should have read “absentee/military ballot.”
They stressed that these ballots are valid and will be counted.
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How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place