Ballot Mistake Caught Quickly After Two Erroneous Ballots Issued
UPDATE (Tuesday, October 5, 2021): This story has been updated to clarify a comment made by the Registrar's Office on Facebook in reference to checking absentee ballots, and the party representation of the registrars, which was initially reversed. It also includes comments from Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton.
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A mistake on absentee ballots for the November 2 municipal elections was caught quickly after two incorrect ballots were distributed Friday morning, October 1, Town Clerk Debbie Halstead told The Newtown Bee.
The two incorrectly printed ballots, which had a Republican candidate listed as running in the wrong race, were given out last Friday morning, Halstead said. One was given to the spouse of the candidate in question, who reported the error to the town clerk’s office. The person who received the other incorrect ballot was contacted by phone. No other incorrect ballots were given out.
“There are no incorrect absentee ballots circulating in the community,” Halstead said on Monday, October 4. “Both voters and the registrars were notified immediately that morning and the situation was rectified.”
No misprinted ballots were mailed out, Halstead said. New ballots were ordered and the old ones have been destroyed. Absentee ballots went out Monday, October 4, in accordance with statutory regulations stating that absentee ballots are to be processed within 48 hours.
“This situation was handled swiftly and professionally and the integrity of the ballots have been addressed on every level,” said Halstead. “This is a very important process that we take very seriously. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen. Our office will continue to work diligently to ensure a compliant and successful election.”
Halstead issued a statement after the registrar’s office posted a statement on Facebook regarding the incorrect ballots. The statement from the registrar’s office warned that ballots picked up on Friday may have a candidate in the wrong race.
"The Registrar of Voters Office does not create the ballots, we count them," the post stated.
Additionally, the post from the registrar's office warns voters that it "may be a good idea to check the district in the top right corner."
Democratic Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton told The Newtown Bee October 5 that voters have on occasion received ballots for the wrong district, so they should check the district number to confirm they have a correct ballot. Ballots for an incorrect district will not have its votes for Legislative Council counted.
Republican Registrar of Voters Erica Canfield offered no comment on the issue, directing The Bee to contact Frampton.
For any questions, the town clerk’s office may be reached at 203-270-4210 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Jim Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.