Some Virginia Beach voters missing ballots in vote-by-mail packets

Posted at 3:44 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 18:43:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Robert Martin opened his mailbox Friday to find the packet he thought he would need to vote by mail, but one key piece was missing.

"I got my package on Friday. I opened it up - no ballot," Martin told News 3.

The Virginia Beach's Registrar's Office says this happened by mistake to some voters, but didn't say how many.

"After going through it a couple of times, it's like, what's the deal? There's nowhere to vote," he said.

On Monday, Martin went to the Registrar's Office and voted early in person. He says his name was crossed off the vote by mail list. "I took the necessary steps to make sure my vote gets counted because that's the important thing," he said.

Now, he's worried other voters who may not have gotten ballots in the mail won't be as proactive as him. "It's frustrating. Some people would've said, 'To hell with this. I can't be bothered now,'" said Martin.

In a statement to News 3, the Registrar's Office said,

We have been labeling and preparing for the November mailing since January 2020. When changes were made at the last minute (such as postage paid return envelopes and new instructions) we had to update over 30,000 packets in the two weeks prior to the initial mailout.

Many of us have worked 60 to 80 hours in a week trying to accommodate the state’s updates.

Voters can contact our office at 757-385-8683 to let us know that they did not receive a ballot with their packet and one will be sent out immediately.
Virginia Beach Registrar's Office

Martin hopes there's better oversight in the future. "Maybe quality control. Somewhere along the line before that envelope gets sealed someone needs to look," he said.

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