ELECTIONS

Sanpete County printing error leaves ballots with no signature line

Oct 14, 2020, 8:38 PM | Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 9:55 am
sanpete county ballot printing error...
Approximately 13,500 Sanpete County ballots were printed without the voter affidavit or signature lines on the back flap of the envelope. Photo: KSL TV

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah — The first sign of a printing error with Sanpete County ballots came when County Clerk Sandy Neill started receiving ballots Tuesday, and the very first one had no signature.

Soon after, thousands of calls flooded the office with voters asking where to sign their ballots in Sanpete County.

Neill sprang into action and called the printing company for the voting ballots.

She said, “they told me ‘yeah we goofed.’ Somewhere between 13,000 and 14,000 ballots went out with this [issue].”

“I wasn’t happy this happened. But [lots of different people] have called and reached out to help. Most of our voters are totally understanding, a couple are very concerned their votes won’t count. I just want to let people know, we don’t let that happen. We will work and do everything we can to get the voter contacted and count their vote,” Neill said.

Affected Sanpete County voters will get a phone call to address the missing signature.

“We will call a voter on their phone and say ‘I can’t find your signature’ and they may be able to help us locate their signature. You’re not in trouble for signing in the wrong place,” Neill reported. 

If a voter has a ballot with the missing signature line but has not yet returned it, Neill said the fix is simple.

“You can sign the outside of the envelope and your vote will still count,” Neil said.

If a Sanpete County voter didn’t sign a ballot because they couldn’t find the signature line, they will receive a postcard in the mail.  When the voter signs this postcard and sends it back into the office, the vote will count. 

Neill isn’t worried about the time-frame for voters to go this extra step because of the printing error on the ballots. Voters will have nearly five weeks to sign their postcard or speak to a clerk at the Sanpete County office. 

There is no explanation for the error to occur, Neill said.

“We don’t change our envelopes often… everything should have been there,” Neill said. 

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