WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — With midterm elections right around the corner, voters are gearing up to head to the polls or mail in their ballots; but incorrect ballots were sent out to D.C. voters just a little over a week before early voting starts here in the District.
D.C. is the latest area to be hit with voting issues in the DMV, after Maryland and Virginia. DC News Now reported almost 800 voters in Montgomery County, Maryland were sent duplicate ballots ahead of the primary election back in July, causing confusion among voters. More than 31,000 voters in Fairfax and Prince William Counties were sent notices with incorrect polling locations just last week.
On Tuesday, over 500 voters in D.C. also received incorrect ballots placing them in the wrong advisory neighborhood commission district.
The D.C. Board of Elections says they started sending out ballots to 500,000 voters at the beginning of October. Out of those ballots, 574 voters were sent incorrect ones.
D.C. Board of Elections Public Information Officer Nick Jacobs explained the BOE started mailing every voter a ballot during the pandemic, a tactic that was received very well by voters. But then the 2020 census rolled around, causing lines to be redrawn due to redistricting.
“You have to rewind a little bit to the census and the redrawing of the lines for every single ward, every single ANC, every single single-member district in the city,” Jacobs explained. “So with all the lines being redrawn, everyone was being sorted into different single-member districts and as of a very small error occurred.”
Montgomery County Board of Elections blamed their vendor for sending out the duplicates. Virginia Department of Elections says the wrong locations on their notices were caused by a printing error. Dr. Matthew Green, the Chair of the Politics Department and a professor at The Catholic University of America, says that human error could be contributing to these incidents.
“What we are seeing nationally, which is a kind of brain drain among the election, among election workers, among our poll workers, where a lot of people are simply leaving office, they don’t want to work as election workers,” Dr. Green explained. “And if you don’t have those kinds of experienced folks running our elections, you’re more likely to see mistakes like this take place.”
Anyone who was sent an incorrect ballot should have been notified by the dc board of elections but ahead of election day, make sure to check with your local election board for the most up-to-date information.