Rocky start to NYC mail-in-voting
PIC: AFP

Mail-in voting has gotten off to a rocky start in New York City, where election officials sent out nearly 100,000 absentee ballots with the wrong names and addresses printed on the return envelopes.

The deluge of faulty ballots, sent to voters across Brooklyn, could result in ballots being voided if voters sign their own name on return envelopes bearing different names.

The New York City Board of Elections blamed the problem on the company hired to print and mail the ballots.

The faulty ballots are limited to one print run of ballots sent out to Brooklyn voters, the board's director Michael Ryan said at a board meeting Tuesday.

He didn't say during the meeting how many were printed. But Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide Melissa DeRosa said the issue was contained to about 100,000 ballots.

All voters who got the bad ballots will receive new ones before the Nov. 3 election, with the vendor covering the cost, Ryan said. He said the move will "make certain that absolutely no disenfranchisement occurs in the borough of Brooklyn." It's unclear exactly how the city will handle voters who had already mailed their completed ballot back in the provided envelopes.

Ryan said elections workers will reach out to voters by social media and, if available, by telephone and email addresses.

And he said the board will ensure all received ballots are "appropriately processed" and tallied votes are "properly credited."

"It is essential that confidence be established on this process and that we make certain we have all the voters who potentially have a problem have a full and fair opportunity to remedy that problem," Ryan said.

The printer the city blamed for the error, Phoenix Graphics, didn't return messages seeking comment.

The Rochester-based printing company, which was founded in 1985 and calls itself the state's largest supplier of ballot materials, is urging those who call its offices about absentee ballot issues to contact their local board of election.

"Phoenix Graphics is working hard with your board of elections to ensure that everyone will have what they need to vote," the company's voicemail message said Tuesday.

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