NYC Scrambles to Remedy Ballot Snafu: 'So Disappointed'

Absentee voters in Brooklyn receive return envelopes with wrong name, address due to printer error
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2020 5:03 AM CDT
In NYC Borough, an Absentee Ballot Snafu
Check your absentee voter materials and follow all directions carefully.   (Getty Images/Darylann Elmi)

As the election nears and more people than usual are opting for absentee ballots due to the pandemic, voters in one New York City borough have flagged an error that officials are now scrambling to remedy. Per Gothamist, multiple voters in Brooklyn have reported that the absentee ballot they received was OK, with the correct identifying information like name and address, but that the return envelope has someone else's name and address. If a voter with this mislabeled envelope seals it and signs their own name on it, as required before submitting, it would invalidate their vote. NYC Board of Elections chief Michael Ryan says the problem was due to a printer error caused by vendor Phoenix Graphics, and that "this problem will get corrected" for all affected voters, though he didn't elaborate on how that would happen.

Ryan also said they'd make sure this doesn't happen in the future. Some affected voters, worried they won't get replacement ballots in time, are now making contingency plans, including voting early in person. "I was immediately so disappointed," one resident tells NBC New York, adding that she also never received an absentee ballot when she requested one for the New York primaries in June. Another voter echoed that disappointment, and in true New York style, tells the New York Post: "I hope the BOE fixes it very f---ing soon." Voters in at least nine different neighborhoods have reported the issue so far, though it's not clear yet how many voters were affected. Gothamist says upward of 140,000 absentee ballots have been sent out in the borough. For those in NYC who notice a possible issue with their ballots, the BOE says to call 1-866-VOTE-NYC or email (More absentee ballots stories.)

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