New York Metropolis Sends Unsuitable Identify Absentee Return Envelopes to Voters Throughout Brooklyn-Mistake May Void 1000’s of Votes
The New York Electoral Administration blames a salesman for a monstrous error in postal ballot papers sent to voters in Brooklyn that could result in their votes being discarded – even if they obey the letter’s rules. This is because the postal ballot papers were sent with mismatched return envelopes bearing the names and addresses of other voters, so the signature will not be counted if the person signs the envelope with their own name on the accidentally sent return envelope.
Wrong picture of the return envelope via Nathan McDermott / Twitter
Postal ballots in New York City were already causing a typo that led recipients to mistakenly believe they had received a military election.
As a rule, there is a slash between the words “absent / military”, as with the main votes from June. The slash was not included this time. Although confusing, these ballots are still valid. pic.twitter.com/JxZ4x5AaPj
– NYC Votes (@NYCVotes) September 28, 2020
Gothamist reports that the bug is being reported across the borough (excerpt):
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The New York Electoral Board sent out nearly half a million postal ballot papers ahead of Election Day back in November this year as many New Yorkers choose to vote by mail during the pandemic. However, some voters are already reporting issues with their ballot papers that could invalidate a person’s vote if not caught in time.
Several Brooklyn voters told Gothamist / WNYC that they had received an incorrectly labeled “official postal voting envelope”. Usually the voter puts his completed ballot paper in the envelope and signs the outside. In these cases, however, the ballot papers have the wrong name and address. If a person signs their own name on this faulty ballot, the ballot will become invalid.
So far, voters in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens, Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, Bushwick, Flatbush, Brooklyn Heights, and Sunset Park have already reported the problem. More than 140,000 postal ballot papers were handed in throughout the district …
The electoral board announced that it was aware of the snafu:
– NYCBoardOfElections (@BOENYC) September 29, 2020
The BOE accused one salesman: “The mistake was made by Phoenix Graphics, who was hired to print and mail ballot papers for voters in Brooklyn and Queens. You have assured us that voters who received faulty envelopes will receive new ones. “
This was a mistake by Phoenix Graphics, who were tasked with printing and mailing ballots for voters in Brooklyn and Queens. You have assured us that voters who received faulty envelopes will receive new ones.
– NYCBoardOfElections (@BOENYC) September 29, 2020
The city reported how these ballots would be rejected even if voters followed the instructions (excerpt):
Voters who contacted THE CITY stated that they received their postal vote on Monday as requested in the mail. Everyone received a voting slip along with an “official postal voting envelope” instructing them to submit their completed and signed voting slip.
You should then seal that envelope and place it in another addressed to the municipal electoral authority in the county where you are registered to vote.
In the problem cases that occurred on Monday, the official postal voting envelope contains someone else’s name, address, and presumably a specific identifying barcode.
So if one voter followed the instructions – fill out the ballot paper, sign it, put it in the internal envelope, and send it to the electoral board – they would effectively be voting on someone else’s behalf.
These votes would ultimately become invalid because the signature matches the files.
It’s a two-step process: when the voter sends in their ballot, a barcode identifies them as belonging to someone else. The electoral committee would then compare the signature and cancel the vote.
A local teacher was one of the first to report the problem on Monday: “He also received an envelope with someone else’s name on it. I spoke to someone in the Brooklyn office who sounded really shocked and panicked when I told her the problem. I was rushed by the phone. “
Also received an envelope with someone else’s name on it. I spoke to someone in the Brooklyn office who sounded really shocked and panicked when I told her the problem. I was rushed by the phone
– John DePasquale (@johndepasquale_) September 28, 2020
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), whose district includes Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, tweeted, “WARNING: absent Brooklyn voters. Please make sure that your name on the voting slip matches the envelope. A printer bug from @BOENYC resulted in some mismatch. DO NOT send it in if it doesn’t match. Please contact the BOE or my campaign to resolve the problem. # NY11 ”
ATTENTION: Brooklyn Absence Voters. Please make sure that your name on the voting slip matches the envelope. A printer bug from @BOENYC resulted in some mismatch.
DO NOT send it in if it doesn’t match. Please contact the BOE or my campaign to resolve the problem. # NY11
– Max Rose (@ MaxRose4NY) September 28, 2020
A CNN reporter received the botched postal vote:
I just received my New York postal ballot today and the security envelope I’m supposed to insert and sign has another man’s name and address on it.
Gothamist is already reporting other cases, so this appears to be a common problem. Http://t.co/lSF3abIXTB pic.twitter.com/4uWmNOwwRW
– Nathan McDermott (@natemcdermott) September 29, 2020
The NY Times employee and her husband got it:
My husband and I both got other people’s ballots. The outer envelopes were addressed to us. Smaller guy inside: The ballot papers were for other people in our building. In all honesty, it would have been easy to miss. https://t.co/nIyqhj5xtL
– Lauren Kelley (@lauren_kelley) September 29, 2020
A liberal columnist urges people to vote in person:
If you feel comfortable doing this, you should just vote in person. The NYC Board of Elections is a deeply incompetent, patronage agency that cannot be trusted to successfully manage hundreds of thousands of postal ballot papers. Https://t.co/BdU7pTNKjz
– Ross Barkan (@ RossBarkan) September 29, 2020
President Trump, right again.