RICHMOND — A Richmond-based non-profit organization recently mailed absentee ballot applications to thousands of Virginia residents in an effort to raise interest in voting by mail.
The Virginia Department of Elections says it has no affiliation with the Center for Voter Information, nor does it coordinate with any third party groups on campaign efforts.
Mailings were sent out across the state, however, some of the mailers may have directed the return envelopes to the wrong election offices. That issue affects mailings to Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Franklin City, Franklin County, Richmond City, Richmond County, Roanoke City and Roanoke County.
“We are aware that voters in multiple localities that received an absentee ballot application were given pre-paid return envelopes addressed to the incorrect registrar’s office,” the Department of Elections said in a news release.
The Center for Voter Information said approximately 500,000 of the mailings contained erroneous return address envelopes.
“We are working diligently to address the issues. Mistakes in our programming are very rare, but we take them seriously, and our methods overall are extraordinarily effective. In fact, we have worked with our partner, the Voter Participation Center, to successfully generate nearly 900,000 vote-by-mail applications across the country, and helped more than 5 million people register to vote in our history,” the organization said in a news release.
The Department of Elections says voters who want to receive an absentee ballot for the November election should apply electronically at its website www.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation.
Any applications that arrive in the wrong locality’s office will be forwarded to the correct office for processing, the Department of Elections said.
“If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, you do not need to submit a new application,” the news release said.
The first day that absentee ballots will be mailed is Sept. 18.