Exclusive: Shocking error found in some Brooklyn mail-in ballots

Park Slope residents show Eyewitness News how their envelopes were stuffed incorrectly

CeFaan Kim Image
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Exclusive: Shocking error found in some NYC mail-in ballots
In an Eyewitness News exclusive, Brooklyn residents show CeFaan Kim how their envelopes were stuffed with the wrong ballot information.

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A major error found with mail-in ballots issued to some voters in New York City, could pose a big problem with election day around the corner.

Daniel Taranto and his sister Maryann have been voting by absentee ballot for years, and there's never been a problem.

This year, given the pandemic, it was an easy decision to stick with what's been working. Until the Taranto's discovered something wrong with their ballot.

"I filled it out, I was gonna put it into the envelope and I noticed that there was a different name on the ballot," Daniel Taranto said.

In this Eyewitness News exclusive, these Park Slope residents show us how their envelopes were stuffed incorrectly.

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The names and addresses on the outside of the envelopes are correct. But the ballots inside belong to someone else.

"It's a very big deal. If somebody's not paying attention, stuffs it in an envelope and just mails it, they didn't vote," Maryann Taranto said. "They voted yeah, but they voted with somebody else's name. That is a big issue."

One of those ballots are addressed to a person who lives just across the street from them ... or maybe used to live across the street from them.

The area across the street from the Taranto's is now a construction site.

The premises is locked and there are buildings department work permits issued from August.

We tracked down the other voter whose ballot arrived in the Taranto's mail on Monday, just a few blocks away in Brooklyn.

"Oh my god this is so crazy."

Her ballot belongs to a voter a few blocks away from her.

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"I think there's a whole line of wrong ballots," Maryann Taranto said.

According to a Board of Election spokesperson, the error was made a vendor that was contracted to print and mail ballots.

"The error was made by the vendor, Phoenix Graphics, who has been contracted to print and mail the ballots for voters in Brooklyn and Queens," a spokesperson said. "We are determining how many voters have been affected but we can assure that the vendor will addresses this problem in future mailings, and make sure people who received erroneous envelopes receive new ones. We will ensure on behalf of the voters in Brooklyn that the proper ballots and ballot envelopes are in the hands of the voters in advance of Election Day so they can vote."

"Mr. President is gonna get his wish. It's gonna be a fraudulent election if this is the case," Daniel Taranto said.

The BOE says that won't be the case.

So what should voters do if they received the wrong ballot? And what should someone do if they already mailed it in before realizing?

The BOE says it's working on a plan to address those concerns and will report it as soon as it's finalized.

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