This article is republished here with permission from The Associated Press.
Almost 50,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio received incorrect absentee ballots, elections officials said Friday, explaining that a glitch had affected one in five ballots of the 240,000 that the stateâ€™s most populous county had sent thus far.
The election board has begun printing and mailing replacement ballots to every voter who received an erroneous ballot.
The error was first identified on Tuesday, nearly immediately after Franklin County elections officials initially mailed ballots to voters who requested them.
On Monday, just before the start of early voting around the state, Franklin County mailed out a record 237,498 absentee ballots - more than the total number of ballots sent out in the last presidential election.
The Franklin County Board of Elections responded through its Twitter account. At the same time, it's so important to remember that OH has bipartisan boards of elections for a reason - to ensure our elections are fair and no party has sway over the other. Those options include voting in-person at the board's offices on the city's north side. "And every vote will be counted", the Franklin country board of election tweeted in response to Trump's angry tweet.
Absentee ballot requests have reached record highs this election, in which OH is once again expected to be a critical swing state.
Focus on absentee ballots 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.
"The bottom line is this: Ohioans can be assured - we will have a safe, secure, and accurate election", LaRose said in a statement.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday afternoon to claim that the upcoming election is "rigged" after a tens of thousands of OH voters received incorrect absentee ballots-an issue he called "out of control". "Out of control. A Rigged Election!", the USA president tweeted. "Our board is bipartisan and our elections are fair".
Voting by mail in the USA has sparked heated debate between Democrats and the GOP in advance of the approaching presidential election, as the Dems tout mail-in balloting as a safe way to vote amid a deadly pandemic, and the latter slam it for paving the way to election fraud. State election officials in several key swing states have warned it could take days to count all of the votes.
"COLORADO! Your mail ballots are being sent out beginning TODAY!"