Updated: September 30, 2020 09:22 AM
Created: September 29, 2020 01:52 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC/AP) — Mail-in voting has gotten off to a rocky start in New York City, where election officials sent out a large number of absentee ballots with the wrong names and addresses on the return envelopes.
The New York City Board of Elections blamed the problem on Rochester-based Phoenix Graphics, the vendor hired to print and mail the ballots for voters in Brooklyn and Queens.
The faulty ballots were sent to an unknown number of voters in Brooklyn and could result in ballots being voided if voters sign their own name on return envelopes bearing different names. More than 140,000 ballots have already been sent out so far across the borough. It was unclear how many people got the wrong envelopes.
"We are determining how many voters have been affected but we can assure that the vendor will address this problem in future mailings, and make sure people who received erroneous envelopes receive new ones," Board of Elections Executive Director Michael J. Ryan said in a written statement.
He said the proper ballots and envelopes would get to voters before the Nov. 3 election.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said the New York City Board of Elections is looking at rectifying this situation.
“It’s unacceptable, and it’s something that they’ve got to take charge of right away,” DeRosa said.
Sal DeBiase, president of Phoenix Graphics, issued the following statement Wednesday.
"We at Phoenix Graphics have learned that we experienced mechanical-inserting issues when producing 2020 General Election Absentee ballots for Kings County and Nassau County. We estimate this has affected less than 1 percent of the mailings, of what was the first of many absentee-ballot orders for these counties. Future mailings will not be affected. Phoenix Graphics is in the process of reprinting and mailing all materials to correct the project and will be covering all expenses related to production and postage.
We have prided ourselves on accuracy and quality in our 40-year history of printing ballots. We are truly sorry for the inconvenience that has occurred. We are actively making necessary production adjustments to prevent such errors in the future."
Officials with the Monroe County Board of Elections said Phoenix Graphics confirmed the issue was confined to Kings and Nassau counties.
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