Kantele Franko / APOhio absentee ballots are shown in Westerville on Oct. 6, 2020. (Kantele Franko / AP)
Almost 50,000 Ohio voters received the wrong ballots in the latest mix-up involving voting by mail.
“The Board of Elections and vendor BlueCrest determined that 49,669 voters received an inaccurate ballot. Those ballots were part of 237,498 mailed through the United States Postal Service. The Board’s primary goal is to have all 49,669 impacted voters cast their correct ballot,” a news release issued Friday by the Franklin County Board of Elections read.
The problem was first noticed on Tuesday, when some voters realized that the addresses on the ballots were wrong, according to WOSU-FM.
In at least one case, two people at the same address received different ballots.
President Donald Trump described the incident as a “Rigged Election” on Twitter.
Franklin County officials said it was simply an accident, not a conspiracy.
“It was determined that a high-speed scanner used to proof ballots for accuracy was not working properly,” Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers said in a statement.
“On October 3 at 2:24 p.m., a function of one of those scanners was disabled,” election board director Ed Leonard said, according to NPR. “This was determined to be the root cause of the system error that led to voters receiving an incorrect ballot.”
“No vote will be counted twice. Every voter will receive an accurate ballot and that ballot will be counted,” Leonard said, according to Fox News.
On Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose ordered the Franklin County board to inform voters who received the initial ballots not to use them and to either wait for a correct absentee ballot, vote in person early at the election board headquarters or vote provisionally on Election Day in person, WCMH-TV reported.
In Wisconsin last month, several trays of mail that included ballots were found dumped in a ditch.
Trump has said repeatedly that ballot fraud is a major problem because so many states are mass-mailing ballots to encourage voting by mail.
“There’s thousands of ballots right there, you pick up any paper in the country practically and they’re cheating all over the place with the ballots, so how is that not a problem? That’s a much bigger problem than China or Russia, if you look at it, it’s a much bigger problem,” Trump said Friday in an interview with Fox Business, The Hill reported.
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