Board of Elections: Some Franklin County voters received wrong absentee ballot

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Voting started Tuesday and the Franklin County Board of Elections is already reporting problems.

Some absentee ballots have been sent to the wrong addresses.

This comes at the start of a voting season where record numbers of absentee ballots are being sent statewide.

The board said a “significant number” of voters were sent absentee ballots meant for someone else.

The board is working to figure out just how many people got the wrong absentee ballots so it can resend the correct ballots.

Like most days, Ashley Castricone’s husband brought in the mail Tuesday. Delivered today were their absentee ballots.

“In the interest of safety, we requested the absentee ballots,” Castricone said.

She opened it and began looking down the ballot. When she got to the Congressional race, she realized something was off.

“Get down to the House representative and see it is not Joyce Beatty and Mark Richardson on it,” Castricone said. “Instead, it’s Steve Stivers and Joel Newby, who are not in my district for representative.”

So she started taking a look at everything else. She also noticed the precinct number was correct on her envelope, but not on her ballot.

Her husband received a correct ballot.

“I do consider myself a pretty informed voter and so I wasn’t sure if I missed something completely, but then, obviously, why would there be two different ballots at the same house address,” Castricone said.

According to a statement from the Board of Elections released Tuesday evening:

The Franklin County Board of Elections is conducting an analysis of all absentee ballots mailed out. This afternoon the Board was made aware that some voters were mailed the incorrect ballot for the voters assigned address. It was determined that a high-speed scanner used to proof ballots for accuracy was not working properly. Not all ballots mailed are incorrect. The board is researching when the error occurred to determine the number of impacted voters. We are actively working on solution and will provide further details when available.

Franklin County Board of Elections

According to a board spokesperson, they were hearing, for example, that some ballots meant for Westerville ended up in Whitehall.

Voters can check their ballot against the sample ballot for their address on the board’s website.

As for Castricone, she said after calling the Board of Elections, she was told she should get a new, correct ballot by the end of this week.

“If I hadn’t known who my representative was off hand, I wouldn’t have checked the precinct,” she said. “You don’t’ think of that.”

A spokesperson for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose gave the following statement on the situation:

System checks are in place to make sure mistakes like the one made by the Franklin County Board of Elections don’t happen — but they only work if the board properly executes those checks. When we became aware of the issue, we immediately notified the Franklin County Board of Elections and they began work to mitigate the issue with impacted voters.

Maggie Sheehan, Office of the Ohio Secretary of State

As of now, the Board has not released how many voters are affected by the mistake.

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