The wrong group of ballots — 28,879, to be exact — was mailed out to residents in Allegheny County, which covers Pittsburgh, on Sept. 28 by contractor Midwest Direct.
Approximately 20 voters reached county officials last week saying they’d received the wrong ballot, with the company then discovering that a “ballot image mapping error” led to the mistaken dispatch.
The county claims the error “resulted in individual voter’s information being matched to the ballot for the next voter in that batch.”
Since the spring, The president has been trying to link mail-in voting to fraud — with scant evidence — as he thought of a strategy to help his reelection chances amid stumbling poll numbers. While Trump has had no success in stopping the 10 states that send absentee ballots to all voters, he is managing to limit the time for calculating those ballots when they are returned.
New ballots — labeled “corrected ballot” on the envelope — will be sent and voters can expect to get them next week, the county said. The right ballots will additionally include a letter explaining the confusion and instructing the voter to destroy the former ballot if they still have it.
It’s thought that some of the constituents included have already voted using the wrong ballot, though the county is uncertain on exactly how many.
County officials repeated that only one ballot per voter would be counted and that the incorrect ones would be established, set aside, and then reviewed as part of the Return Board process after the Nov. 3 election.
“This was a failure on behalf of our contractor that impacts too many of our voters,” said county elections manager David Voye at a virtual press conference Wednesday. “I apologize for it and commit to you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that we are not plagued by any other such issues.”
Midwest Direct was set to address another 19,564 ballots when the mistake was reported. That following batch has been destroyed and will be remade, the county said.
The company also intends to put in place safeguards, according to a letter from Midwest Direct President Sean Gebbie to county officials on Tuesday.
“Moving forward, a printout of the first and last 10 records will be generated for every file showing which images are being used,” Gebbie wrote. “That printout will be compared to the actual printed ballots before inserting to verify correct images have been pulled. We will have a second data processer review the files to create a two-person check.”