209 voters in Miami Co. received 2 absentee ballots

The hired ballot vendor, Dayton Legal Blank, caused both problems election board members were told during an emergency meeting late Friday.

Board member Robert Huffman Jr. said the issues came to light earlier Friday when people who received two ballots started calling the elections office. Bev Kendall, interim elections director, said about six calls were received.

The issue was traced to a list at the vendor from which ballots were mailed twice, once on Oct. 29 and again on Nov. 1, Huffman said.

Everyone on that list was being called and asked to vote one ballot and return the second after writing Return to Sender on the outside envelope. They were advised not to vote two ballots and received an apology.

“We are confident none of the 209 will get to vote a second ballot,” Huffman said, pointing to the verification process used in accepting the absentee ballot request and recording a return ballot.

Those who received a second ballot are asked to return it so the ballot whereabouts can be documented, board member Jose Lopez said.

The second issue that surfaced was another 35 absentee ballots that were handled by the vendor but not mailed. Dave Keeler of Dayton Legal Blank was at the elections office Friday and said those 35 envelopes had issues with addresses, which were fixed, then the box set aside and inadvertently not mailed. The problem was discovered following a voter call.

Ballots going out of county were sent overnight late Friday afternoon. The voters who requested the others were being called and given options including coming to the elections office to vote the absentee ballot or having it mailed.

The way chosen to deal with both issues was discussed with the Secretary of State’s Office and approved, the board was told.

“They did nothing wrong here,” Keeler said of the absentee ballot issues discussed Friday.

In mid-October, the board was told there had been a delay in mailing of absentee by mail ballots, but all requested ballots had been sent out as of Oct. 19.

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