Pennsylvania county says 29K wrong ballots were mailed out

Stacks of mail-in ballots in Reading, Pennsylvania on June 3. A July 31 report from the Associated Press describes how some Black voters are skeptical of the mail-in voting system. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Elections officials in Pennsylvania’s second-most populous county said Wednesday that nearly 29,000 voters were mailed ballots with the wrong contests on them, and that those voters will receive corrected ballots next week.

Allegheny County officials blamed the contractor hired to handle the printing, collating and mailing of ballots, calling it a “ballot image mapping error.” They were alerted to the mistake on Friday, when voters started contacting them to complain that their ballot showed contests for other districts, they said.

They said they are starting to look for any of the wrong ballots that were mailed in, and will set them aside. Those ballots then will be reviewed by the county’s election returns board after the election to ensure that only one ballot per voter is counted, county officials said.


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The wrong ballots were part of a mailing by the contractor, Midwest Direct, from a batch whose date of mailing is shown in the state ballot tracker as Sept. 28, county officials said.

County officials said they also stopped and destroyed ballots in a separate mailing of about 19,500 ballots that was about to go out when the problem was first reported by voters on Friday. Those ballots are being reprinted, officials said.

The county’s elections office will put a search feature on its webpage to allow voters, using their name or voter ID number, to determine if their ballot was part of the erroneous batch, officials said. Voters can also look up a correct sample ballot for their municipality, ward and district on the county’s webpage.


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