SF returns diligently monitored following mail-in ballot mistake 

Elections officials are taking an extra step to ensure that mail-in ballots flowing into their office are correct after an error that resulted in hundreds of voters receiving the incorrect document.

As first reported by The Examiner on Wednesday, San Francisco elections officials confirmed that a contractor sent out mail-in ballots containing the wrong name.

Barcodes on mail-in ballots are now being scanned and compared with the voter’s identification and registration after more than 1,000 voters possibly received the wrong ones in the mail due to a printing error, The City’s Elections Department said.

There are roughly 175,000 residents in The City who vote by mail, according to the Elections Department. Each ballot that’s mailed to a voter’s home has their name printed on the return envelope, along with a bar code. The information on the envelope allows the department to check the voter’s signature, which must match one on file from registration cards.

As of Friday, about 13,500 voters had cast votes and returned their mail-in ballots. The Elections Department said the number of absentee voters who received the wrong ballots is 300, but there’s no way for it to know unless the voters report the mistake.

John Arntz, director of the department, said he has reissued about 100 ballots so far to voters who received the wrong ones.

Since then, department workers have been on overtime, making more than 3,000 calls to voters to ask if they had the correct ballot, Arntz said.

“The vast majority of people had the right ballot,” Arntz said. “We are calling or sending letters and asking people to make sure they look at the information on their vote-by-mail envelope.”

The Elections Department first started receiving calls May 12, two days after the first ballots were mailed, with voters who reported either getting the wrong ballot or having duplicate ballots.

That’s when officials realized the vendor, K&H Integrated Print Solutions, had mailed the wrong or duplicate ballots to voters.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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Erin Sherbert

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