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Montgomery County Board of Elections sends out over 100 misprinted absentee ballots to voters

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Earlier this week, the Montgomery County Board of Elections accidentally sent out 177 misprinted absentee Democratic ballots.These misprinted ballots were only for incomplete Democratic absentee ballots for the 39th Ohio House District.

Election officials say their vendor accidentally sent out an older version of the ballot that was missing write-in Democratic candidate Leronda Jackson. In order to become the Democratic candidate for the 39th Ohio House District, Jackson needs 50 write-in votes. This error could have put her candidacy at risk.

It was something that election officials took very seriously.

“Something we say a lot here is that there may be an issue that will affect just a small number of ballots,” Sarah Greathouse, the Deputy Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said. “And for us, maybe that seems like it’s fine statistically. But for every voter, one ballot is 100% of their vote and 100% of their constitutionally guaranteed right to have their voice heard. And we take that responsibility very seriously.”

On Monday of this week, a sharp eyed resident noted the absence of Jackson on their ballot. They immediately reached out to the Board of Elections. By that evening, officials had reached out to their vendor, Jackson’s campaign, and the Secretary of State’s office.

They also put together a plan to fix the issue.

“We devised a plan to reach out personally to each and every one of those 177 effected voters to either contact them by phone or email,” Jeff Rezabeck, the Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said. “Or if we didn’t have [that information], by regular mail.”

By Thursday afternoon, Greathouse said that they had reached out to every voter by phone that they could. They had also sent out emails and letters to the rest of the voters.

Fixed ballots will be mailed out. Voters will be able to recast their vote with this corrected ballot, and only that one will be counted. Instructions are enclosed with the fixed ballot.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.