600 in St. Louis County mistakenly told ineligible to vote

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County election officials are working to notify 600 voters who were mistakenly sent letters telling them they are ineligible to vote on Tuesday.

Republican election director Rick Stream on Thursday acknowledged the error to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . Postcards have been sent to the voters, but it’s not certain if they’ll arrive before the election.

Stream said the error was the result of confusion by election workers processing voter registrations that arrived after Missouri’s Oct. 10 deadline. The board sent letters to 1,500 voters saying their registrations were received too late for the Nov. 6 election.

The election workers were unaware that voter registration forms postmarked or signed by Oct. 10 should have counted, regardless of when they arrived. Stream said 600 registrations proved to be valid.

Stream said the board of elections discovered the mistake on Oct. 15, revisited all 1,500 letters, and found that 600 of the registrations were, in fact, valid. Of the 600, about 100 voters caught the mistakes themselves and called the elections office to complain, leaving 500 voters who may still believe they are ineligible to vote.

The problem marked the second in recent weeks involving St. Louis County’s election office. Last month, about 12 percent of county voters received the wrong sample ballots in the mail due to a print vendor’s mistake. New ballots were later sent.

St. Louis County sends out election cards with the sample ballot printed on the back, a way of giving voters a preview of what they’ll be voting on.

But voters in three zip codes received sample ballots meant for neighboring areas, which means a few races were listed incorrectly. The vendor sent out the corrected versions at no cost to taxpayers, Stream said.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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