They told us mail-in voting would be safe, easy, and accurate, yet in New York City, errors have popped up left and right that have made voting by mail anything but.
According to NBC New York, ballots went out in envelopes addressed to various homes who opened them only to find someone else’s name on the ballots.
One man, in particular, noted the mistake and is now ditching the idea of voting by mail completely in order to do what should have been done from the get-go — vote in person:
With five weeks left until the Nov. 3 election, many voters are eager to cast their ballots absentee and early. A growing number of registered voters in Brooklyn, however, received ballots on Monday with an incorrect return address.
Such voters include Anders Kapur, who has voted absentee in the past without any problems. By his account, the ballot was marked with his correct information, including his address and voter ID number, but the return envelope was addressed to a completely different person.
Kapur was able to get in touch with a Board of Elections representative before the end of the business day who guaranteed a new ballot would be sent. The operator told Kapur the issue would be logged and passed up the chain.
The guarantee of a new ballot didn’t ease Kapur’s frustrations. He’s begun to make alternative voting plans, like casting his vote in person.
I received someone else's return envelope in my #AbsenteeBallot. I just got off the phone with an operator at .@BOENYC and they said this has happened to a lot of people. Double check your ballots. .@NYCMayor .@NYGovCuomo @Gothamist @nytimes @NY1 @NYDailyNews @nypost pic.twitter.com/88Qlwi9VBK
— rama (@ramagu4ever) September 28, 2020
Another woman, Hannah Schneider, also had the issue of receiving ballots that didn’t belong to them and took her frustration to the internet since she wasn’t getting answers anywhere else.
1/2 I rec'd my absentee ballot today addressed to me, but the "Official Absentee Ballot Envelope" inside has a different woman's name and address. My husband also received his absentee ballot today with the same mistake. How can we resolve this? 1/2 @BOENYC @NYCVotes pic.twitter.com/5Uxta90XTg
— Hannah (@schneidstweets) September 28, 2020
According to the NYC Board of Elections, the fault for the error lies with a “vendor” that was hired to distribute ballots in Queens and Brooklyn.
“We are determining how many voters have been affected but we can assure that the vendor will address this problem in future mailings, and make sure people who received erroneous envelopes receive new ones,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the mistake would be fixed before November 3.
This is, yet, another example of just how troublesome mail-in voting is.
Last July, a reporter experimented with mail-in voting just to see how accurate and timely it would be. The answer was neither. Not only was the post office hardly helpful, but mail also got lost or arrived late.
More reason to just put on your coat and vote in person.