By STEFAN MODRICH
Some Missouri City voters received mail-in ballots earlier this month with the wrong precincts that were missing the city’s municipal races.
Early voting started Tuesday and is scheduled to last through Oct. 30, and Election Day is Nov. 3.
Last Friday, Missouri City sent out a notice to residents following some reports of incorrect ballots. The city advised residents to “verify that they receive the correct ballot by ensuring that it has the city general and special election and that the precinct number on their voter registration card matches the one on the top right hand side of the mail-in ballot.”
The incorrect ballots in question were sent to 25 registered voters in Missouri City and mishandled by a temporary worker on Oct. 1, Fort Bend County Elections Administrator John Oldham said.
Due to the size of the ballots, they are folded by hand, not by machine, he said.
Before noon Oct. 5, Oldham said his office was in touch with Maria Jackson, the city secretary for Missouri City, and the correct ballots were sent out to the appropriate voters. As an added precaution, Oldham said the county mailed out an additional 28 new ballots to voters whose ballots were handled by the same temp worker. Of those 28, Oldham said Monday afternoon that none of them had reported any issues with their ballot.
He said those who were expecting the ballots that were sent out last week should have received them by now.
Oldham said Galveston County recently had a printing error on its ballot, and that mistakes can occur when the volume of mail-in ballots has increased dramatically.
“Ours was simply a human error of sending the wrong ballot to the wrong people,” Oldham said. “We’ve mailed 37,000 ballots, and you’re going to get some of that.”
Oldham said he heard from one Missouri City voter who was incorrectly coded for Houston, something that he noted happens relatively frequently and is simple to correct.
“It’s not anything to get overly concerned about. It’s all fixable,” Oldham said.
Residents with concerns or questions can visit the Fort Bend County Election Administration website or call 281-341-8670.