KEY POINTS

  • Nearly 50,000 voters received incorrect absentee ballots in a large Ohio county but election officials said Friday that the correct ballots would be mailed within 72 hours
  • With about 240,000 ballots mailed, one in five voters received a wrong ballot
  • Some ballots had an incorrect congressional race, while others had the correct information but were sent to voters in a different precinct

Nearly 50,000 voters received incorrect absentee ballots in a large Ohio county but election officials said Friday that the correct ballots would be mailed within 72 hours.

With about 240,000 ballots mailed, one in five voters received a wrong ballot. The error happened Saturday afternoon when someone changed a setting on a machine that places absentee ballots into mailing envelopes, Franklin County election officials reported.

Some ballots had an incorrect congressional race, while others had the correct information but were sent to voters in a different precinct. The Franklin County Elections Board said 49,669 voters received incorrect ballots out of 237,498 that were mailed.

The board also said it will mail postcards to all affected voters detailing the situation and highlighting voters’ options moving forward. Those options include voting in-person at the board’s offices.

The elections board said multiple checks are in place to ensure only one voter can cast a ballot, including rejecting any replacement ballots if someone went ahead and voted in person.

The news of the incorrect ballots brought renewed focus on an election seeing an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about in-person voting.

On Tuesday, Ohio’s elections chief announced that Ohio’s 88 elections boards had a record number of absentee ballot applications. Ohio's Secretary of State Frank LaRose said 2,154,235 applications had been received, that's more than double the amount of ballots received at the same time in the 2016 election. 

President Trump on Twitter was quick to criticize the mishap and argued that the election was rigged.