140,000 New York Voters Receive Absentee Ballots With Wrong Names and Addresses
Mismatched absentee mailings sent out to residents of NYC
New York City voters have reported receiving absentee ballots containing the wrong name and address or even the wrong person's ballot.
There were as many as 140,000 mismatched absentee mailings sent out in the post, according to official estimates.
Some voters said they received absentee ballots for military members.
Others said the return envelope did not have their name or address.
The ballots labeled as military ballots were misprinted in Queens.
Voters in Brooklyn stated, "they have received a mislabeled 'official absentee ballot envelope.' Normally, the voter inserts their completed ballot into the envelope and signs the outside."
"But in these cases, their ballot envelopes bear the wrong name and address. If a person signs their own name to this faulty ballot envelope, the ballot would be voided," The Gothamist reported.
The outlet added that "the New York City Board of Elections has mailed out nearly half a million absentee ballots ahead of Election Day this November," and "more than 140,000 absentee ballots have gone out across the borough."
Reporter Grace Panetta for Business Insider tweeted:
"And it looks like some people are getting not just the wrong return envelopes with their ballot, but other's people's ballots entirely. I can only hope this isn't a widespread problem bc it's a pretty serious safety/privacy issue."
And it looks like some people are getting not just the wrong return envelopes with their ballot, but other’s people’s ballots entirely. I can only hope this isn’t a widespread problem bc it’s a pretty serious safety/privacy issue https://t.co/ZVKrMxk0Df— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) September 28, 2020
New Yorkers sounded the alarm of social media.
One Brooklyn resident tweeted city councilman, Brad Lander:
"I, too, received somebody else's absentee ballot. Pls help your constituents/our democracy, @bradlander?"
"Sigh. You and apparently as many as 140,000 others. Here's what we know so far," pointing to his own Twitter feed where he had linked to the Gothamist article. He had written earlier, "Emerging from Yom Kippur to dozens of emails from Brooklyn voters who were mailed absentee ballots with the wrong name/address on the return envelope. Just so enraging & depressing."
"Voting absentee is going to work. It really is," he added, followed by a "fingers crossed" emoji.
Voting absentee is going to work. It really is. (🤞)— Brad Lander (@bradlander) September 29, 2020
But if you're immunocompromised or out-of-town or uncomfortable voting on Election Day, one other great, easy option is EARLY VOTING, from 10/24 to 11/1 in NYS.
That's how I'm voting this year. https://t.co/WCH68rarp6
"As @commoncauseny's Susan Lerner says: 'Look, this is a stupid error, but there is time to get it fixed.' And I know it won't affect the Presidential race (fortunately, swing states have been doing mail-in ballots longer & better). But still, [New York City Board of Elections], please. I can't take it."
As @commoncauseny's Susan Lerner says: “Look, this is a stupid error, but there is time to get it fixed.”— Brad Lander (@bradlander) September 29, 2020
And I know it won't affect the Presidential race (fortunately, swing states have been doing mail-in ballots longer & better).
But still, @BOENYC, please. I can't take it.
The New York City Board of Elections advised voters to contact them to rectify the problem.
"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," Michael Ryan, the NYCBOE's executive director, told the Gothamist.
"This problem will get corrected."
The news comes as mail-in voting continues to be debated in the run-up to the election as many Democrat states push for voting by mail instead of in-person.
Last month, over a quarter of mail-in ballot votes cast in New York City's June Democratic presidential primary, were disqualified, according to the NYC Board of Elections.
The BOE disqualified 84,208 vote-by-mail ballots, 26 percent of the total cast in the June 23 primary, according to a report by the New York Post.
The NYC BOE received 403,213 mail-in ballots for the presidential primary, but only 318,995 mail-in ballots were counted.
In July, President Donald Trump warned that mail-in voting could lead to the most "corrupt election" in US history.
The president said mail-in voting could jeopardize the accuracy of the coming November election.
Trump wrote on Twitter:
“Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION."
Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020