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Press Release Published: Oct 21, 2020

Comer, Hice Voice Concerns about Defective Ballots Issued from Coast to Coast

Call for further explanation to prevent individuals from voting multiple times

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on Government Operations Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.) today raised concerns over more than 150,000 inaccurate absentee and mail-in ballots. The Republicans wrote to the Franklin County (Ohio) Board of Elections, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office, and the Board of Election in the City of New York requesting answers about how and why these ballots were issued, efforts taken to correct these issues, and how each intends to prevent individuals from voting multiple times. Oversight Republicans previously raised concerns about the District of Columbia’s mail-in ballot process and the threat it poses to the integrity of the election.

“The right to vote is a hallmark of American democracy and it is critical that we protect the integrity of our elections. But, with issues arising from coast to coast, I’m concerned that blanket mail-in balloting and the dramatic growth in absentee ballots this election cycle is ripe for fraud, abuse and chaos. Every state, city, county and anyone above or in between issuing mail-in or absentee ballots has a responsibility to ensure those ballots go to the right people, are returned to the proper place, and no one is allowed to vote multiple times,” said Ranking Member Comer.

“Americans deserve fair elections; tampering with the electoral process dissolves the roots of our Democracy,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Hice.

In Ohio, nearly 50,000 inaccurate absentee ballots were sent to voters in Franklin County, in which incorrect races were listed and/or were sent to voters in the wrong precinct. The Board of Election sought to alleviate this issue by sending new ballots and an informational postcard about the error, however, Comer and Hice are concerned these measures fall short and have potential to result in several individuals voting multiple times in the same election, regardless of tracking measures from the county.

In Los Angeles County California, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s (RRCC) office sent approximately 2,100 ballots to residents repeating a list of state ballot measures twice but failed to include a means to vote for the President. The State of California mailed a ballot to every registered voter in the state, which alone presents several serious concerns about election integrity, especially where administrative errors may result. The RRCC has said they will send corrected ballots to those who received these, and, if an individual already submitted the faulty ballot, that ballot will be cancelled in order for the new ballot to count. There are concerns these measures are not substantial enough to prevent an individual from voting several times.

In New York, the Board of Elections in the City of New York sent nearly 100,000 defective absentee ballots to voters in Brooklyn with mismatched addresses on the inner and outer envelopes. This administrative error, according to the Board of Elections, was the result of a third-party printing vendor. Although the Board of Elections is sending new ballots with corrected information and is requesting voters destroy the defective ballots, there are serious concerns the Board of Elections does not have procedures to detect fraudulent ballots or prevent multiple ballots from being cast.

The letters are available below: