I-TEAM: Hundreds of voter ballots, thousands of mail-in ballot applications rejected in Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Weeks before the presidential election, the FOX 8 I-Team has found reasons why your vote may not count, but you still have time to make sure that it does.

The I-Team has learned, in Cuyahoga County alone, so far, 36,059 mail-in ballot applications have been rejected, and, 298 ballots have been rejected.

That happens due to mistakes by voters and problems with paperwork.

The I-Team checked the most common problems with applications for mail-in ballots: More than 22,000 people sent in applications and didn’t list a date of birth. Officials also found thousands of others not registered to vote.

We noticed actual ballots rejected most often for no signature or questions about an ID.
Near the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, an unending stream of voters waited in line to drop off ballots. And we met Kelli Witt.

“My boyfriend filled out the same thing. He forgot to sign it,” Witt said. “So I went to check on the status of his. They’re like, ‘He didn’t sign it. And we sent you another one out.’”

Cuyahoga Co. Board of Elections spokesman Mike West said, “We try to help everyone vote successfully…”

West said the number of ballots and applications rejected involves a small percentage of voters overall. But, every vote counts. And, if yours gets rejected, you can correct it.

“When they mail it in and something’s wrong, we’ll spot it right away, and we’ll mail them a new ballot application,” West added.

West suggested voters should use the “track-my-ballot” function on the Board of Election website.

Other counties we checked with are also seeing similar issues.

Election officials say they work on making contact with a voter about any problems, and if needed, county boards have options for sorting things out right up to election day.

Other voters we met dropping off ballots on Monday said they didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

We met a man and woman in a car pulling away, and the woman said, “I checked his. He checked mine. So it was double-checked.”

Another voter said, “I triple-checked the document to insure mine was completely filled out.”

And, still, one more told us, “Took the time to make sure I got everything just right.”

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