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Election officials field questions, following faulty mailing by outside group

Local election officials field hundreds of calls after an outside group mails thousands of unsolicited absentee ballot applications with the wrong return address.
Local election officials field hundreds of calls after an outside group mails thousands of unsolicited absentee ballot applications with the wrong return address.(WDBJ7)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 8:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Local election officials have been fielding hundreds of calls this week, after an outside group mailed thousands of absentee ballot applications with the wrong return address.

The applications mailed by The Center for Voter Information are legitimate.

But because of a mistake involving counties and cities with the same name, many of the return envelopes were addressed to the wrong office.

In the Roanoke Valley, registrars plan to exchange ballot applications that are misdirected.

Andrew Cochran is the Director of Elections and General Registrar in the city of Roanoke.

“I think the easiest thing is for people to first realize that the absentee application is valid,” Cochran told WDBJ7 on Friday. “They can use that. They can send that in the envelope provided. If you’re a Roanoke City voter it’s going to go to Roanoke County, and we have worked out a process between our two offices to get the right applications into the right office.”

Interest in voting absentee is high. Cochran said his office has seen about ten times the normal number of requests for absentee ballots, compared with the same period in 2016.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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