A number of Brooklyn voters from multiple neighborhoods have received absentee ballots with the wrong name or address labelled on the official envelope, Gothamist reports.
If a person signs a mislabeled ballot envelope with their own name that ballot would be voided. Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Flatbush are amongst the neighborhoods where voters have reported the issue.
New York City Board of Elections has sent out almost half a million absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 General Election, with many voters opting to vote by mail rather than lining up at polling stations amidst the pandemic. More than 140,000 have been sent out across Brooklyn.
BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan said the vendor Phoenix Graphics, who has been contracted to print ballots for Brooklyn and Queens, was to blame for the error. Ryan said BOE did not know how many voters would be affected or how it would fix the issue, but said people who had received mislabeled envelopes would receive new ones and the vendor would address the issue for future envelopes.
On Monday, Park Slope resident Jeremy Klopman received an absentee ballot envelope with the wrong name and address and said the most troubling aspect was how the error could erode people's faith in voting by mail, especially in hotly contested areas.
"My heart just started sinking because I'm sitting there thinking, if they sent out half a million ballots already to the wrong place, that's going to cause a huge problem to claw them all back," Klopman said. "There's definitely a sinking feeling."
Affected voters have said the Board's 1-866-VOTE-NYC has been out of serive and when Gothamist called on Monday night there were 79 callers in the queue ahead.
If the issue is not quickly resolved by BOE, it could leave a huge number of voters unable to cast their ballots in time for the General Election. Voters who have received mislabeled ballots can vote in person during the early voting period (Oct. 24 through Nov. 1) or on Election Day, Nov. 3.
If you have received an absentee ballot with errors on it, the city Board of Elections says you should reach out to them via email at Apply4Absentee@boe.nyc or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC.