Misprint for vote-by-mail applications causes confusion across the commonwealth

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Roughly half a million mailers were sent to Virginia voters with the incorrect return address listed for vote-by-mail applications, according to the non-profit that sent them.

The DC-based Center for Voter Information acknowledged 91,000 incorrectly labeled envelopes were sent to Richmond city residents, with a Richmond County return address listed.

“In Virginia, cities and counties that share a name like Fairfax and Richmond had the wrong envelopes. So, a county recipient got a city return envelope, and the reverse is also true,” CVI CEO Tom Lopach told 8News in an interview Monday, after a report last Friday.

Lopach said CVI’s Philadelphia-based printing vendor, Smith-Edwards-Dunlap, made a misalignment on a mailer spreadsheet.

The DC-based Center for Voter Information, acknowledged 91,000 incorrectly labeled envelopes were sent to Richmond city residents, with a Richmond County return address listed. (Photo: Ben Dennis)

Roanoke city and county, as well as Franklin city and county were also caught-up in the misprint.

“We regret the confusion that we have caused, and we take full responsibility for it…’ ‘this election has too much confusion and too much misinformation and the last thing we want to do is add to that,” Lopach said.

In a statement, the Virginia Department of Elections said any applications arriving to the wrong local office will immediately be forwarded to the correct one; a cost Lopach said CVI will cover. 

“We are working with election offices and providing our overnight shipping account details,” Lopach said, who also detailed the responses to CVI’s vote-by-mail application mailers

“So far our vote-by-mail mailing in Virginia has resulted in over 82,000 vote by mail applications being sent back to election offices throughout Virginia,” he said.

CEO of Smith-Edward-Dunlap said Friday that the incident was a case of “human error,” and no one was fired as a result.

The Virginia Department of Elections says voters can also apply to vote by mail by going online

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