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Error on some early voting ballots affects family court special election

7 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago Friday, October 13 2023 Oct 13, 2023 October 13, 2023 6:35 PM October 13, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An error on early voting ballots affecting two streets in southeast Baton Rouge incorrectly left some voters unable to cast ballots for family court judge, the registrar said late Thursday.

East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters Steve Raborn said residents on Mead Road and Southfork Avenue who voted early may have been unable to vote in the special election for family court. About 650 voters on those two streets were "improperly coded" and that left the family court race off their ballots, Raborn said.

Raborn said about 59 of those 650 voters submitted early votes and absentee ballots, and the office is trying to get those people to come in Friday to redo their ballots.

All the candidates in that race have been informed of the process.

According to Raborn, the districting process is manual and the office codes the districts by hand, so the mishap comes from an error in coding.

"We've undergone a lot of re-districting in the last couple of years so we've been moving a lot of voters around from district to district, so when that happens, sometimes we find that out sort of on the backend that we've made a mistake, but this particular error is not due to redistricting," Raborn explained.

The ballots to be used on election day Saturday are correct, but the early voting ballots and sample ballots were wrong, he said.

Raborn also said that these sorts of errors are "a rare occurrence" and that it's a difficult, tedious process in the office. He also said the office has to do a better job of proving that these errors won't be an ongoing issue.

Anyone on those two streets who voted early should contact the registrar's office on the second floor at city hall to complete a replacement ballot by the close of business Friday.

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