Nearly 50,000 Ohio Voters Receive Wrong Ballots

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October 9, 2020

Nearly 50,000 voters in Ohio received the wrong absentee ballots this week, the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday. 

Franklin County elections director Ed Leonard said an elections worker, who has yet to be identified, improperly changed the settings on a machine that matches ballots and envelopes, causing 49,669 Franklin County voters to receive ballots for elections in other cities. This comes during a contentious election cycle, where more people than ever are voting by mail due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 

Voters will receive new ballots that include secrecy envelopes marked with a barcode to prevent voters from casting more than one ballot. More than 237,000 voters have requested absentee ballots in Franklin County, which includes Ohio's capital city, Columbus. 

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the ballot issues in Franklin County demonstrate how the election is "rigged." Though many mainstream media outlets have dismissed concerns over mail-in voter fraud as a hoax propagated by the president, problems with mail-in voting have already begun to pop up across the country. A printing error in New York City caused nearly 100,000 voters to receive ballots with the wrong name, address, and voter ID printed on them. Similar errors in Michigan and Washington have affected nearly 6,500 ballots combined. And civilian voters across New York City received mail-in ballots marked for military use.