The Brunswick County Board of Elections is giving about 150 voters who received the wrong ballot at one early voting site the opportunity to cast a new ballot in the 2018 general election.
On Oct. 18, the Brunswick County Board of Elections became aware that some voters had received the incorrect ballot at the Leland Cultural Arts Center. Upon investigation, it was determined that some poll workers did not properly pull up some voters’ ballots on the touch-screen voting machines. That evening, procedures were put in place at all one-stop locations in the county to ensure the errors weren’t repeated.
Over the weekend, Board of Elections staff conducted an audit of the 2,172 ballots cast at the Leland Cultural Arts Center between Oct. 17 and Oct. 19, when the incorrect ballots were issued, and determined that 147 voters were given incorrect ballots.
Sara Knotts, director of the Brunswick County Board of Elections, has been in touch with officials at the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, the Brunswick County Board of Elections, and the Brunswick County Republican and Democratic parties. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to these voters, and we have taken steps to prevent this from happening again,” Knotts said.
Brunswick County is split between two NC House of Representatives districts. The affected voters were given a ballot with the incorrect House contest. That is the only difference between the ballot styles.
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the Board of Elections will mail letters to the affected voters, notifying them of the incorrect ballot and giving them the opportunity to cast a new ballot if they wish. For voters who decide to vote new ballots, the original ballot will be discarded, and only the new, correct ballot will be counted. For voters who decide not to vote new ballots, their votes will be counted for all races, except for the state House race in question.
If the affected voters provided a phone number when they registered, Board of Elections staff also will call the phone number on record this week. Citizens who voted at the Leland Cultural Arts Center during those dates can email their name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if they are among the affected voters.