First batch of Franklin Co. replacement ballots arrive at post office

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The nearly 50,000 Franklin County voters who may have received the wrong absentee ballots will soon be receiving replacement ballots.

According to Franklin County Board of Elections Director Ed Leonard, the replacement ballots were printed on Saturday, while officials spent Sunday and Monday inserting them into envelopes.

Leonard said special arrangements were made with the United States Postal Service so ballots could be dropped off on Monday, despite the post office being closed for Columbus Day.

“We want to make sure that folks that get them in hand have as much time as possible to cast their ballot and get it back to us either by mail, or get it here to the early vote center at the drop box,” he said.

Early Monday evening, a spokesperson for the board of elections said 28,000 replacement ballots were dropped off at the post office and the rest will be dropped off on Tuesday.

Last week, officials said 49,669 voters may have received the wrong ballots due to a scanner malfunctioning in the machine which places the ballots into the envelopes.

Leonard said the problem has been fixed and extra safeguards are in place to prevent it from reoccurring.

He also assured voters that only one vote per voter will be counted.

“We’ve put the controls in place to make sure that we can separate and identify the original ballot from the replacement ballot and then immediately if the original ballot is returned, it gets separated and segregated and kept separate,” he said.

Completed absentee ballots returned to the board of elections by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 2. Absentee ballots can also be returned in one of the drop boxes, located at the board of elections, until 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3.

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