Some New Orleans absentee voters receive incomplete ballots for March 25 election

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 9:24 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - With a March 25 municipal primary election fast approaching, voters who requested them have begun receiving absentee ballots in the mail. But for some, the ballots they received are incomplete.

There should be two judicial races on the ballot, and voters living in House District 93 also should have a runoff decision for the state representative seat vacated by now-State Sen. Royce Duplessis.

But according to some voters who reached out to Fox 8, the absentee ballots they received only had the judicial races, even though they live in House District 93.

“If people saw this and didn’t realize (the House race) wasn’t on the ballot and don’t think about it, they just send it back in,” said one voter who asked not to be identified.

The ballots are sent out by Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters Sandra Wilson. Fox 8 reached out to the registrar’s office about the error, but did not receive a response.

A spokesperson for Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said the mix-up was caused by a “packaging error,” and only affected a handful of more than 14,000 absentee ballots that were mailed out. Because there are two ballot styles -- one for those voters living outside House District 93 and one for those living within it -- a small number of voters incorrectly received the wrong ballot, the spokesperson said.

The voter who spoke with Fox 8 said, “You’ve got people who should be voting, and they’re voting, but on an incorrect ballot. I think it needs to be fixed. I think overall we do a great job in this state. Like I said earlier, if you don’t get the ballot to the Registrar of Voters on time, it’s not counted.”

The registrar’s office did respond to the voter, asking him to dispose of the faulty ballot and saying a replacement would be mailed.

The voter suggested anyone who votes absentee look at their ballot, compare it to the sample ballot listed on the Secretary of State’s website and if there are any discrepancies, make sure to contact the registrar’s office.

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