PA Election Protection Coalition Working with Allegheny County Voters Affected by Midwest Direct Mailing

Vendor is the same that sent incorrect ballots to 50,000 voters in Ohio last week

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 14, 2020) — The Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition — a nonpartisan effort to ensure that every eligible voter can vote and that counties have the tools and policies in place to ensure a smooth election Nov. 3 — today said their volunteers are available to help registered voters who are affected by the ballot image mapping error in Allegheny County.

Midwest Direct, the company contracted to handle the printing, collating and mailing of ballots, has sent incorrect ballots to 28,879 voters in Allegheny County. The County is correcting these mailings and will be delivering new, correct ballots to the post office over the next few days. Most are expected to be delivered to voters the week of October 19.

Midwest Direct was also the vendor that sent incorrect ballots to 50,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio last week (NPR: “50,000 Ohio Voters to Receive New Absentee Ballots after Error Found,” Oct. 9). They have also had challenges in Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County, leading to delays in ballots getting mailed out to voters. (KDKA: Westmoreland County Says Delivery of First Mail In Ballots Delayed”, Oct. 8).

“Because of the high-stakes nature of this election, we need to do all we can to ensure this election runs smoothly and that voters have all the resources they need to get their questions answered, so they can be confident that their vote counts and we can all be confident that the results of the election are accurate,” said Suzanne Almeida of Common Cause PA, which is heading up the effort in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Although the county is working quickly with the vendor to correct the error, Almeida said that Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition volunteers are on high alert for any calls they receive from Allegheny County voters who say they received the wrong ballots so that they can redirect them or help them work through the process.

Only Allegheny County voters whose ballot is listed as mailed Sept. 28 may be affected by the error. Starting tomorrow, voters should be able to check whether they are affected on the Allegheny County Board of Elections website.

Voters who have questions or need assistance are encouraged to call the Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition toll-free hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Every election year, the Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition mobilizes hundreds of well-trained, nonpartisan volunteers who serve as voters’ first line of defense against confusing voting rules, outdated infrastructure, rampant misinformation, and needless obstacles to the ballot box — or, as is the case here, helping voters understand the state’s new mail-in voting option and any issues that arise for individuals who may be using it for the first time.

The Election Protection Coalition is led by Common Cause Pennsylvania and includes Pennsylvania Voice, ACLU-Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security, All Voting is Local, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Fair Elections Center, CASA, Make the Road Pennsylvania, One Pennsylvania, Committee of 70, SEAMAAC, the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), Pennsylvania Chapter of Moms Demand Action, and the National Urban League.

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