Election officials issuing new ballots to those impacted by software problem in Fayette County

Election officials working to correct mail-in ballot problems in Fayette County

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — Fayette County voters whose mail-in ballots were affected by a software issue are being issued new ballots, officials announced Friday.

An issue with mail-in ballots was discovered by the Fayette County Election Bureau earlier this week.

The issue caused by Pennsylvania’s SURE software system primarily applies to online applications submitted prior to the June primary election and marked as “permanent mail-in” requests. However, officials said it may also affect some online ballot applications submitted before the end of September.

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In correcting the issue, some voters may get a second ballot, but it’s only necessary to complete and return one ballot, election officials said. Only one ballot per voter will be counted for the Nov. 3 election.

“County election officials alerted the state to the problem, but are now working to proactively correct it on their own, in order to ensure all Fayette County citizens may invoke their right to vote this Election Day,” a news release said.

Voters who applied for a “permanent” mail-in ballot or applied online in September and have not received a ballot are being mailed a replacement ballot by the Fayette County Election Bureau.

Because officials don’t know who did or didn’t get a ballot, Dunn said they have to send out new ballots, and that’s expected to create confusion and backlogs in tallying.

“It’s going to be confusing because people will get a second ballot. They’re going to say, ‘I already voted and I’m getting a second ballot. So what do I do now?’” Dunn said.

Voters who previously submitted an online application and have not received a ballot can go to the election bureau during office hours and vote in person the same day.

The Fayette County Election Bureau will open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in order to serve as many people as possible.

Election officials said they are aware of other mail-in voting issues, including people receiving multiple ballots, incorrect ballots or empty envelopes with no ballot in them.

Officials also said only one ballot will be counted, even if someone receives multiple ballots.

Anyone who experiences these problems is asked to call the election bureau at 724-430-1289 or email lblosser@fayettepa.org.

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