On Friday, Franklin County, Ohio’s most populous county, announced that 49,669 voters got an incorrect absentee ballot in the mail this week.
The Franklin County Board of Elections stated:
The board has already begun the process to print, stuff, and mail the 49,669 replacement ballots and expect them to be sent to the United States Postal Service within 72 hours for delivery. Additionally, while the replacement ballots are processed, the board will mail informational postcards to all impacted voters that detail the situation and highlight the voter’s multiple voting options moving forward.
“We want to make it clear that every voter who received an inaccurate ballot will receive a corrected ballot,” the board continued. “Stringent tracking measures are in place to guarantee that a voter can only cast one vote.”
We can now confirm that 49,669 voters received an incorrect ballot.
Those voters will be contacted directly by the Franklin County Board of Elections and a replacement ballot will be mailed to them. Please visit https://t.co/wnMx1Tg0U4 or call 614-525-3100 if you have questions. pic.twitter.com/OMdOd2jWOS
— Franklin Co. Boe (@FranklinCoBOE) October 9, 2020
“Ohio is one of a number of states that mails absentee ballot applications to all voters, but unlike other states, it has done so since 2012. … Around 1.9 million Ohioans requested an absentee ballot in the state’s April primary, prompting an outcry when some were delayed in arriving. That forced some voters to cast their votes in person despite health concerns,” Fox News reported.
“Election officials blame a malfunction with one of the high-speed scanners used to process the ballots,” WOSU stated. WOSU noted that election board director Ed Leonard explained, “On October 3 at 2:24 p.m., a function of one of those scanners was disabled. This was determined to be the root cause of the system error that led to voters receiving an incorrect ballot.”
The election board is now investigating BlueCrest, the vendor for the scanners. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose admitted, “The Franklin County Board of Elections made a serious mistake and they’ve been working hard to correct it. At the same time, it’s so important to remember that Ohio has bipartisan boards of elections for a reason — to ensure our elections are fair and no party has sway over the other.”
LaRose added, “Protections are in place to ensure only one ballot is counted for each voter. I’m confident that the Franklin County Board will be transparent in explaining those processes. The bottom line is this: Ohioans can be assured – we will have a safe, secure, and accurate election,” as The Columbus Dispatch reported. The Dispatch added, “Under Ohio law, elections board are made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, and the elections director must be from the opposite party as the deputy director.”
The majority of Franklin County absentee ballots are to go to Democrats, who requested them in greater number than Republicans, the Dispatch noted.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won nearly 60% of the vote for president in Franklin County while Donald Trump received roughly 34%, but Trump won the state of Ohio, garnering 51.8% of the vote while Clinton received 43.7% of the vote, CNN reported. Trump won the state by roughly 447,000 votes, getting 2,841,005 votes while Clinton got 2,394,164 votes.