Absentee ballot application rejected? Here are your options to vote

Local group hopes to inform people of their options
Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 9:41 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With less than two weeks until Election Day, concerns are growing as absentee ballots are still being rejected.

19 News looked into what options people have to make sure their vote is counted.

It’s a concern for Lana Cowell and the Greater Cleveland Congregations.

They’ve noticed people’s applications for absentee or mail-in ballots are being rejected.

According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, it’s for different reasons, including the person’s address doesn’t match what’s on file, but the most popular reason is the person’s birth date is missing.

“When the applications from the Secretary of State were mailed out they filled in the name and address but in between the name and address was a blank spot that said date of birth, so the elector had to fill it out themselves,” said Lana Cowell, a member of the Greater Cleveland Congregations.

Cowell said the application isn’t easy to read, and many people missed it.

As of Monday night, there were 36,104 invalid absentee ballot applications according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. More than 18,000 were corrected, but that still leaves more than 17,000 applications to be fixed.

That’s why the members of the Greater Cleveland Congregations want people to know that they still have options. People can correct the application and mail it in, or drop it in the ballot dropbox.

“We definitely would recommend that they take it to the dropbox because we’re talking less than two weeks before the election,” said Cowell.

Keisha Krumm, the executive director of Greater Cleveland Congregations, recommends another option.

“The second option is people can actually go to the Board of Elections and do early in-person voting and if they have applied for a mail-in ballot and change their mind that they want to vote in-person when they go to the Board of Elections they’ll actually just cancel out that mail-in ballot and they would get one in person,” said Krumm.

Krumm said the Board of Elections typically sends people a new application when informing them that their application was rejected.

“If you’re worried, freaked out as you say that you haven’t gotten your ballot, go to the Board of Elections. They have a really great system. Everything is socially distanced,” said Krumm.

If you still haven’t received your ballot, you can track your application on the Board of Elections website here.

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