Why some voters nonetheless haven’t obtained their mail-in ballots
Large boxes of envelopes will be viewed September 4 at the Mecklenburg County Electoral Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, as postal voting requests for election workers. Logan Cyrus / AFP via Getty Images
Less than two weeks before election day, many voters across the country have not yet received their postal votes.
Typographical errors, delays in mail delivery, and the sheer volume of inquiries have led many states across the country to get their ballots into the hands of voters before the deadline.
Ohio voters have seen delays thanks to a backup to print ballot papers. In Michigan, a state that has received 3 million postal votes, 20,000 postal votes remain to be sent. In addition to delays in printing and delivering mail, some counties have had to reprint and resend ballot papers, including Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This pushed the window wider so voters could get their ballots back in time.
Voters who say they requested their postal vote on time are frustrated and confused that they will wait only a week before the recommended deadline for the U.S. Postal Service to get the ballots back in the mail.
Lee Zacharias, 75, of Greensboro, North Carolina, never received her postal vote. She wanted to vote in absentia because of her weakened immune system, but ultimately risked her health and voted in person because she felt it was too close to the deadline.
Zacharias’ first election was on September 11th, according to BallotTrax, a new tool that North Carolina voters can use to keep up with their electoral status. When it didn’t appear, she called the Guilford County Electoral Board on Sept. 28 and said Zacharias had been told BallotTrax was not always accurate, but to be sure the county would cancel her original ballot and send her a new one. When that ballot did not arrive, Zacharias decided to cast her vote in person because she was nervous that he would never show up.
“The fact that I know mine isn’t the only case. There are a number of other people who have not received a postal vote, whose ballot papers have disappeared, like mine, and who have been invalidated and received no replacement voting papers me angry, “said Zacharias.
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