Burlington County replaces thousands of ballots that were delivered unsealed
The Burlington County Clerk’s Office says that it is ready to fix incorrect or damaged ballots after a mailing error last week.
“Last week, due to a printing error, the company that printed our ballots used the wrong sealer on the outside envelope,” says County Clerk Joanne Schwartz.
The ballots that were sent to voters in Evesham, Lumberton and Willingboro were opened before they were delivered because of the sealer error.
"We were alerted primarily by the post office, who initially accepted these envelopes. We ran it through the post office,” Schwartz says. “They told us the envelopes with the wafer seals were acceptable. After we delivered them to the post office and the post office processed them, the post office then contacted us and said that the wafers were coming off."
The county says that about 2,000 to 3,000 residents were affected, and that the issue has been corrected. The county is telling people to check inside the envelope to make sure they received two envelopes, a ballot and instructions.
“We’ve been getting emails and phone calls and we’re responding and the answer is, if the outside envelope is open, that’s not the program. If you have a concern, we can re-issue you a new ballot,” Schwartz says.
The county clerk says that the office can also issue a new ballot if the one does not arrive or is incorrect.
News 12 New Jersey caught up with several voters outside the Burlington County Board of Elections who were turning in their ballots. Some said that they did not trust the mail system.
“I know that it will get here and I don’t know about the mailing system,” says Burlington Township resident Sharon Taylor. “I'd rather be safe than sorry. I want my vote to count.”
"I feel more confident that it will be counted if I bring it myself. I didn't want to put it in the mail,” says Bobbie K. Housley, of Burlington Township. “I did put the primary in the mail, but I didn't want to put this in the mail. This election is too important."
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 13. Voters who do choose to mail their ballot must have it postmarked by Nov. 3 - Election Day.
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