Sep 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New York City voters report mail-in ballot errors

 A U.S. Postal Service employee sorts mail at a distribution box September 26, 2020 in New York City.

A U.S. Postal Service employee sorts mail at a distribution box Sept. 26 in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The New York City Board of Elections issued an alert Monday night after voters complained they received mail-in ballots for November's election containing incorrect names, voter IDs and return labels.

Why it matters: Votes risk being voided if the names and required signatures do not match.

  • "Normally, the voter inserts their completed ballot into the envelope and signs the outside," Gothamist notes. "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."

Driving the news: Multiple voters in Brooklyn told Gothamist that mislabeled "official absentee ballot" envelopes had been sent to them. The New York Post reports some voters in Queens had received misprinted military ballots.

  • City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer told the Post, "There's just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are supposed to do with them. People were already not trusting this process and they were already not trusting the Board of Elections to count the ballot right."

What they're saying: A Board of Election spokesperson told News 4 the source of the error could be attributed to "a vendor hired to print and distribute ballots to voters in Queens and Brooklyn," and pledged to fix the problem for voters in time for the election.

  • "We are determining how many voters have been affected but we can assure that the vendor will address this problem in future mailings, and make sure people who received erroneous envelopes receive new ones," the spokesperson said.
  • Many New Yorkers posted on Twitter about the ballot mishaps they had encountered:
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