D.C. elections officials Friday apologized to a Ward 2 voter who received an absentee ballot without the names of the Ward 2 candidates for City Council, but with a box for the school board candidate from Ward 6.
"Our vendor has confirmed that this voter received a ballot other than the one that was requested by the Board," D.C. Board of Ethics and Elections Chairman Errol R. Arthur said in a statement. "We have taken steps to correct this situation and ensure that this voter will receive a replacement ballot."
Another absentee ballot controversy erupted in Virginia, where Fairfax County Republicans said that hundreds of military ballots would go uncounted because of a technicality.
The District ballot, which was sent to a registered Republican, omitted the box for the Ward 2 Council race, where the major party candidates are incumbent Democrat Jack Evans and Republican challenger Christina Culver.
The elections board took responsibility for drafting the incorrect ballot and blamed Sequoia Voting Systems for mailing it out. The board is expected to notify voters who may have received incorrect ballots, and Sequoia is planning to notify the City Council if more of the incorrect ballots were mailed.
"I am disappointed that this happened because there is no reason that this ballot design should have been created or printed," said council member Mary Cheh, who chairs the committee charged with overseeing city elections. "My office will continue to pursue this issue until it has been entirely resolved."
Republican leaders who uncovered the problem late Thursday said they are still skeptical of the District's ability to hold a clean election.
"We hope D.C. government will be able to hold a fair election on November 4th," D.C. Republican Committee Chairman Robert Kabel said in a statement Friday. "Christina Culver and Patrick Mara (at-large) are running to support the mayor's school reform agenda in addition to reforming several D.C. government agencies including the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics."
In Fairfax County, Supervisor Patrick Herrity, a Republican, said Thursday at a news conference that more than 200 absentee ballots submitted by members of the military are likely to go uncounted.
County Registrar Rokey Suleman II has set aside 255 federal write-in absentee ballots because they were submitted without a witness address, Mr. Herrity said.
A witness address is not required on a normal absentee ballot. But it is required on the federal write-in absentee ballots typically used by military members, Mr. Suleman said.
"We're following the letter of Virginia law," he told the Associated Press.
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, chided Mr. Suleman for the problem in a letter circulated by the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.
"The Fairfax County registrar is going to great lengths to register voters in the county jail," Mr. Davis told the Associated Press. "It is shameful he is going to even greater lengths to disenfranchise our men and women in uniform."
This article is based in part on wire-service reports
Tom LoBianco has covered energy and environmental policy, including the climate change bill making its way through Congress. From 2007 to 2008, he covered Maryland politics from the Times’s Annapolis bureau. Tom hold’s a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. He spent two and a ...
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