Albemarle County discusses how to get wrong absentee ballots fixed

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A record number of absentee ballots in both Charlottesville and Albemarle County have been sent out so far. While it’s still an extremely safe and reliable way to let your voice be heard this November, there is still the chance for clerical errors.

“It’s just we’re not in Kansas anymore, It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Albemarle County General Registrar and Director of Elections Jake Washburne said.

“The first batch of mailings that we sent out in 2016 - for the 2016 Presidential Election - was about a little over 1,600 on that first batch out,” he said. “Our first batch out for this election was over 16,500.”

In the city, a few ballots were recently sent out that didn’t include “section A” which contains the actual ballot. The Charlottesville Registrar’s Office says it is working to fix the problem.

Albemarle County, meanwhile, shared how they would handle similar issues: “You get the package, and the ballots not included, we would send them what we call a gold oath, which basically just says, ‘I attest that I had requested it, but did not receive my absentee ballot,' or ‘I lost it, and if you reissue me a ballot I promise that I won’t vote, except this ballot,’” Washburne said.

He says if you request an absentee ballot but decide you’d like to vote in a different fashion, you’re able to do so.

“Even if you ask us to send you a mail-in ballot and you then decide, ‘actually I’d rather vote early in person, or vote at my precinct,' you can do that,’” Washburne said.

No matter how you want to vote, Washburne says there are still reliable options: “Well we’re encouraging folks to vote early by mail if they have any concerns about COVID, because that that seems to be the best, you know, the safest, but it’s up to the voters,. They can vote early by mail, or they can vote early in person, or they can vote at the precinct on election day,” he said.

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