Dead citizens, disconnected relatives, and even a family pet were among more than half a million inaccurate applications for absentee ballots sent throughout Virginia last week by the Center for Voter Information
"Approximately half a million applications sent to eligible voters in Virginia included incorrect information, and we are working diligently to address the issues," the center said in a statement. "Mistakes in our programming are very rare, but we take them seriously, and our methods overall are extraordinarily effective."
According to the printing vendor for the Center for Voter Information, the error was largely caused due to an incorrectly aligned spreadsheet. Despite the explanation, many voting rights advocates are still worried about the integrity of the voting process as more Americans consider turning to mail-in ballots rather than going to the polls and risking exposure to coronavirus.
The League of Women Voters, election monitors, and even former FBI agents have expressed their deep reservations about the reliability of conducting a national election with mass mail-in ballots.
The Center for Voter Information said it remains confident in its reliability.
"We know that voters are on high alert as the November election approaches, and we regret adding to any confusion. Please rest assured that we are working with local election officials in Virginia to re-direct the vote-by-mail applications to the proper locations, and will rectify any errors at our own expense," the group said.
The Trump campaign, which has warned repeatedly about the dangers of this election approach, seized on the error in Virginia as evidence of what is likely to occur in states like California and Nevada.
"Imagine if these applications were live ballots mailed out" said Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign. "That's what's going to happen in Nevada under their recently passed AB4, and what Democrats are pushing for nationally. What will stop a 'printing flub' for actual ballots under a universal vote-by-mail system?"
As Nevada and California prepare to automatically mail out ballots, not applications, to all eligible voters, Ellis warned the effort is part of "Democrats' plan to intentionally undermine election security."