First Day Of Early Voting In Ohio Draws Big Crowds, Absentee Ballot Error In Franklin County

The Franklin County Board of Elections says a large number of voters were sent the wrong absentee ballots in the mail. Officials say a significant amount of voters received ballots meant for someone else, and they are working on re-sending the correct ballots to those addresses. They blame the mistake on a malfunction with a high-speed scanner used to proof ballots. 

Here's the full statement released last night:

The Franklin County Board of Elections is conducting an analysis of all absentee ballots mailed out. This afternoon the Board was made aware that some voters were mailed the incorrect ballot for the voters assigned address. It was determined that a high-speed scanner used to proof ballots for accuracy was not working properly. Not all ballots mailed are incorrect. The board is researching when the error occurred to determine the number of impacted voters. We are actively working on solution and will provide further details when available.

Meanwhile, officials say more than 2,000 people cast ballots in Franklin County yesterday on the first day of early voting -- a notable increase compared to the amount cast on day one in 2016. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles has more on a busy first day of voting.

Columbus resident Brandy Seymour said she’s concerned about another lockdown like Ohio experienced in the May primary. And she said it’s so important she was willing to stand in line for a little more than an hour at the Franklin County Board of Elections to make sure her vote is in. 

“I’m worried about people taking votes and throwing them away in the mail. I mean, think about it – how reliable is the postal service anyway? Like, I mean, even just mailing a Christmas card. You hear stories about ‘oh yea, this Christmas card was mailed in 1920 and they just found it and mailed it," Seymour said. Columbus resident Manny Tarver also didn't want to wait to cast his ballot in person. "I didn't want to wait until the last minute. I didn't want to do the mail in ballots."So I just felt that I actually had to get out and go vote today," Tarver said. Lines at county boards of elections around the state were forming before sunrise in many cases. Polls opened at 8 a.m. And by 10 a.m., many voters had waited an hour or more to get into this Franklin County Early Vote Center where they could cast their ballots.