Address Mistakes Deliver Absentee Ballot Application Confusion

Aug 6, 2020

Elections officials in several Virginia cities, including Roanoke and Richmond, are trying to clean up an absentee ballot application mistake.

About 500,000 absentee ballot applications were mailed to Virginia voters by the Washington D.C. based Center for Voter Information.  The application form is legitimate, but the address on the return envelope is incorrect for some voters.

One of the incorrect mailers
Credit David Seidel/Radio IQ

The Roanoke City registrar’s office says the return envelopes meant for city voters are addressed to Roanoke County’s elections office. Similar mistakes were made for voters in the cities of Richmond, Fairfax and Franklin, because there’s also a county with the same name.

A statement from the Center for Voter Information says the group knows voters are on high alert for election issues and it regrets adding to the confusion.  The group says it will cover the cost of fixing the errors.  Read the complete statement here

Later Thursday, the vendor hired by CVI, Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company, took responsibility for the error.  In a statement, the company's CEO said employees incorrectly aligned a spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet was not sent to CVI for review and the company's proofing process did not catch the mistake.  Read the complete statement here

The state Department of Elections says applications returned to the wrong locality will be forwarded to the correct office and voters who already submitted an application don’t need to send another.  The department recommends requesting an absentee ballot at the department's website.  Actual absentee ballots will start going out September 18th.