While there is never a great time for a pandemic to hit, one occurring during an election year—making in-person voting a health risk—has certainly got to be one of the worst. In New York City, voting has gotten off to a concerning start as multiple people have reported receiving faulty absentee ballots.
NBC News reports election officials in Brooklyn sent out ballots with the wrong names and addresses on the return envelope. This could result in ballots being voided should the signature on the return envelope not match the name printed on it. Over 140,000 ballots have already been sent out and it’s unclear how many of those are faulty.
The New York City Board of Elections said Phoenix Graphics, the vendor hired to print and distribute the ballot, is to blame for the error. The vendor did not respond to NBC’s request for comment. Michael J. Ryan, executive director of the Board of Elections, issued a statement addressing the error and vowing to fix it.
“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,” his statement read.
Ryan added that the people who received the faulty ballots will be sent new ones before the Nov. 3 election, though he didn’t outline the process by which that would happen, nor how much it would cost.
In addition to the names and addresses being wrong, a smaller error was also found on the ballots. Traditionally, absentee ballots in New York carry a label that says “Official Absentee / Military Ballot.” Some voters have reported that the slash separating the titles was missing, leading some to believe they had been mistakenly sent a military ballot. The board clarified that the ballots are still good for use by any registered voter.
Damn y’all, did one of the board members recommend their boy’s untested startup to handle ballots this year? This is just a whole lot of mess, and it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the board’s ability to successfully handle what is sure to be a messy election season.
New Yorkers already faced struggles with mail-in voting earlier this year during the primary. As a result of the pandemic, over 400,000 New York residents requested absentee ballots, a record number that was 10 times the number of absentee ballots requested in the 2016 election.
Voters complained that they didn’t receive their ballots in time for the primary and thousands of ballots were thrown out due to technical errors, such as the U.S. Postal Service failing to postmark when a ballot was submitted.
So yeah, nothing really to worry about over here. This election is going to be smooth sailing. Now excuse me, I’m gonna go take as many shots as it takes to ease this feeling of impending doom.