Printing Error Sends Wrong Ballots To Nearly 29,000 Voters In Allegheny County

Oct 14, 2020

The Allegheny County Elections Division announced Wednesday that the company in charge of printing and mailing ballots sent the wrong ballots to 28,879 voters, citing an error by the vendor in charge of printing and mailing the ballots. 

“With a little under three weeks to go, it’s imperative that we ensure that our elections system is one that voters can trust,” said Allegheny County Elections manager Dave Voye on Wednesday. “This was a failure on behalf of our contractor and impacts too many of our voters.”

The elections division heard from approximately 20 voters last Friday that they received ballots for the wrong municipality, ward and district. Over the weekend, the county contacted Midwest Direct — the company contracted to print and mail ballots for the county — and mailing was suspended. It was determined that there was an image mapping issue, which resulted in a voter’s information (the municipality, ward and precinct) being matched to the ballot of the next voter in the printing batch. 

“Midwest Direct identified and corrected the issue yesterday, October 13th, and began printing and correcting ballots for voters,” Voye said. “Beginning this morning, election staff has begun manually locating and segregating all ballots received from voters that were included in this batch.”

The misprinted batch was sent to voters on September 28. 

 

“Within the next 24 hours the election division will have a search feature on its website that will allow voters using their name and voter ID number to determine if they were a part of the impacted batch,” Voye said. The search tool can be found here once it's live.

 

The elections division will send corrected ballots to everyone impacted this week, and officials expect voters will receive re-issued ballots the week of October 19.  If you still haven't received a re-issued ballot by October 26th, you can get a new one in person at the County Elections office in downtown Pittsburgh. Only one ballot will be counted for each voter.

“The integrity of our election system is of the utmost importance to me,” Voye said. “Voters in this county should be confident that their votes are accurately counted and protected. Our very system of government depends on free and fair elections and nothing underscores that more than a presidential election.”

Allegheny County is on track to have record voter participation. 371,062 ballots have already been approved — the total turnout in the 2016 general election was 660,009. 

“We’re on pace to see that turnout even higher,” Voye said.

State officials expect voter registration to top nine million before the October 19 deadline, and 517,818 people have already voted by mail.