Nearly 50,000 Ohio Voters In 1 County Receive Wrong Absentee Ballots, Officials Say

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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Nearly 50,000 voters in Ohio’s largest county received absentee ballots with incorrect information, election officials said Friday.

Franklin County elections officials said new ballots for 49,669 voters would be ready to mail within three days, FOX News reported.

“We want to make it clear that every voter who received an inaccurate ballot will receive a corrected ballot,” the election board said in a news release. “Stringent tracking measures are in place to guarantee that a voter can only cast one vote.”

The board will post a list of voters who received the incorrect ballots to its website, FOX further reported. (RELATED: Appeals Court Blocks Wisconsin Absentee Ballot Deadline Extension

“No vote will be counted twice. Every voter will receive an accurate ballot and that ballot will be counted,” said county Elections Director Ed Leonard said in a press conference Thursday.

If a voter sends in two ballots — both the inaccurate ballot and the replacement ballot — only the replacement will be counted, the report added. The mistake is reportedly believed to be the result of an accident that occurred on Oct. 3.

“While this process has taken longer than we’d like, we aren’t just determining a number. We’re determining and identifying each impacted voter,” Leonard said.

Federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster blocked Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s order that prohibited absentee ballot drop boxes at off-site locations on Friday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“The right to vote guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments is without a question one of the most important rights guaranteed by our Constitution,” Polster reportedly wrote. “The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the anxiety over whether the U.S. Postal Service will be able to handle the unprecedented number of ballots being returned by mail, is proposing unprecedented challenges to voters and boards of election.” (RELATED: Federal Judge Rules Ohio Must Allow For Multiple Ballot Drop Boxes, Says Current Protocol Disenfranchises Minorities)

Franklin County has already sent out 237,498 total absentee ballots, according to FOX, a number which includes the batch of incorrect ballots.