“Sorting Error”

Fifty thousand Franklin County, OH, voters were mailed the wrong ballots last week. It was a scanner sorting error. That’s what the county’s Board of Elections claimed last Friday.

The affected voters in Franklin County received ballots meant for residents elsewhere in the county and so contained incorrect information for local races[.]

That’s an interesting error. The local post office doing final sorting for the local final delivery routes didn’t notice the misaddressed envelopes? The mailman doing the actual final delivery didn’t notice the misaddressed envelopes as he put them in recipients’ mail boxes?

Franklin County has a population of some 1,300,000. Taking a naïve guesstimate of a typical family having two adults and two underage children, that works out to some 650,000 voters. 50,000 of them works out to a bit over 7.5% of the county’s voters getting the wrong ballots.

Stipulate, arguendo, that the scanner errors were entirely innocent, of the sort that fits in the stuff happens category.

That’s still an enormous error, an unacceptably high error, for mail-in ballots. Absentee ballots—generated one by each on an as-requested basis and on proof that the requester is both who he says he is and eligible to vote—do not have this sort of error, and absentee balloting does not have any error of this magnitude.

Innocent or nefarious, mail-in balloting is just too unreliable.

Update: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, population 349,000, is a heavily Republican county in the heavily Republican southwestern part of the State. 58,000 mail-in ballots were…misplaced on the way out the door; the intended recipients never got them. That’s roughly a third of the voting population whose ballots were lost.

[T]he Westmoreland County Election Bureau is placing blame on a contractor hired by the county to mail out ballots this election cycle.
“The first batch of processed and approved applications was submitted to the County’s mail house, Mid-West Direct on October 3rd. It has been brought to our attention today that Mid-West did not sent out the ballots on Tuesday as indicated.”

The first batch. The screwup supposedly has been fixed, and new ballots “are in the mail.” “Processed and approved applications?” Whose applications? Absentee ballots don’t get batched up; those ballots get sent to the requestor as each application gets approved. This is the county’s approval for mail-in.

This is yet another demonstration of the unreliability of just willy-nilly mailing out ballots instead of staying with on-demand and -proof absentee ballot voting.

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