Some voters in New York City reported receiving mail-in ballots containing errors, including wrong voter IDs and names, incorrect return labels, or ones mislabeled as military ballots, according to reports.
The New York City Board of Elections (BOE), which the Gothamist reports has already mailed out around half a million ballots ahead of November’s election, is aware of the problem. The BOE said in a statement on Twitter that ballots labeled “official absentee military ballot” can be treated as correct ballots “even if you are not a military voter.”
According to the Gothamist, multiple voters in Brooklyn reported receiving absentee ballot envelopes with the wrong name and address, a problem that could lead to a voided ballot.
Some netizens responded to the BOE statement expressing confusion. One person wrote, “my husband and I received our absentee ballots today. Our names weren’t on the ballots. Our correct names and addresses are on the Official Absentee Ballot Envelope. Are our names supposed to be on the ballots as well as the envelopes?”
Another wrote: “2 out of 3 of the absentee ballots we received today had the wrong name on the ballot, the correct one was in the wrong envelope. You have a [sic] issue. (Repost as original had wrong number and spelling errors).”
BOE, in a separate message, blamed “outside vendor error” for some of the problems and urged those affected to contact their office.
“There’s just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are supposed to do with them,” New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told the New York Post. “People were already not trusting this process and they were already not trusting the Board of Elections to count the ballot right.”
While ballots featuring the label “official absentee military ballot” can still be used by non-military voters and will be counted, incorrect name and address information on envelopes is more serious as it could lead to voided ballots and voter disenfranchisement.
While the BOE does not know how many voters have been affected by the error, Michael Ryan, the BOE’s executive director, told the Gothamist that, “the problem will get corrected.”
“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,” Ryan told the outlet.
The BOE told the Gothamist that it is not clear how many ballots may have been affected by the error.
The Epoch Times reached out to the BOE with a request for comment and additional details but did not receive an immediate reply.
The problem of mislabeled ballots and official ballot envelopes comes amid concerns that the expansion of mail-in voting amid the pandemic could spark a major legal dispute.
Two senior Republicans in Congress have warned that problems with vote-by-mail arrangements coupled with Democrats’ efforts “to change state election laws and procedures at the last minute” for what they say is partisan advantage could be setting the stage for “an unprecedented constitutional crisis” in the upcoming election.
Proponents of expanded mail-in voting say it is a measure to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and, by reducing the number of people congregating at polling stations, minimize voters’ exposure to the potentially deadly bug.
Election experts have said it might take several days after the Nov. 3 election to declare a winner as officials will need time to count mail ballots that arrive after election day.
President Donald Trump said at a rally in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday, that Americans might not know the winner of the presidential election for months due to disputes over mail ballots.