Mailing delays in Iron County, Utah, may force voters to cast their ballots in person, sparking concern over rural and elderly citizens who now must travel to polling centers, according to a local report.
Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker told FOX13 Salt Lake City that some county residents only received their mail-in ballots the weekend before Election Day.
“From what I understand, many — I don’t dare say most — many were delivered by last Saturday,” Whittaker said.
The ballots had been printed and ready to be mailed by Oct. 14, ahead of the Oct. 18 deadline, but a packaging mishap resulted in them getting mixed up with other mail, he told the station.
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The ballots for Iron County residents ended up going to San Diego, according to Whittaker, who said the main problem is that officials “haven’t been able to really pin down where any one person’s ballot is.”
Due to the mailing delay, Whittaker said county election officials extended early voting and spent the three days before Election Day delivering ballots to residents who claimed to have never gotten them.
Whittaker said the county is now working to find more staff to prepare for an influx of in-person voters.
However, resident Vickie Hicks told the station that some residents still haven’t received ballots as of Monday while others have gotten two – a situation she described as “alarming.”
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Hicks said she is worried about rural and elderly voters who must now travel to polling centers to cast their votes, adding that the voting locations are “not close.”