Printing error results in amendment missing from single absentee ballot
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Election officials blame a printing error for a mistake on an absentee ballot in Jefferson County.
Officials said one ballot out of 15,712 mailed to absentee voters was missing Amendment 2, the amendment that would declare no constitutional right to abortion in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“There was about a portion of Amendment 1, all of Amendment 2 and some bubbles… on the back as well,” Erran Huber, Jefferson Co Board of Elections Spokesperson said. “So it was apparent to the voter that something was not printed correctly. It wasn’t an instance where Amendment 2 was simply left off the ballot. But, the entire backside of the ballot shows some printing issues. So they called us up, they let us know what the problem was and we handled it. And we took care of it.”
Huber said the voter’s original ballot was “spoiled” and a complete vote was recorded.
“This singular incomplete printing was the result of a printer setting that has since been corrected,” Huber said. “With the review measures that were already in place on the processing side, we would have become aware of a misprint on this ballot once it was submitted if it were not reported to us by the voter.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky sent Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw a letter asking for the following steps to be taken to protect the voting rights of the thousands of people voting by mail:
- ”County Clerk’s office should provide a full accounting of the misprinting error. This should include the magnitude of the error, which questions/candidates impacted by misprints, and what is being done so this does not occur again (during this or future elections), as well as confirmation that the ballots that will be used for in-person voting have been checked for any similar printing errors.”
- ”County Clerk’s office should confirm that it will continue to inspect each returned ballot, and that mail-in ballots which are returned but lack Amendment 2 on them will be segregated from other ballots. It will be critical to identify the total number of invalid ballots to identify whether those ballots may have impacted the results of a close election.”
- ”County Clerk’s office must make accessible a list of Jefferson County voters who requested a mail-in ballot. The list should be made accessible to any campaign working on an amendment question. If necessary, we ask the State Board of Elections to implement emergency regulations to allow such access.
- ”County Clerk’s office should describe whether voters will receive any notification if their ballot is deemed defective, and whether there will be any opportunity to fix such a defective ballot.”
The letter was signed by ACLU Legal Director, Corey Shapiro.
“In the event that a voter wishes to spoil their mail-in ballot for any reason,” Huber said, “all they need to do is call (502) 574-6100 to reach the Election Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. before Election Day, or from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to visit and have their ballot spoiled in-person. If they are unable to visit in person, they need to simply write their choices for each section on the ballot, and their vote will be counted.”
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