Press Club

Computer Glitch Blamed for Erroneous Voter Registration Cards

Arlington County is mailing new voter registration cards to as many as 10,000 voters who may have previously received cards with incorrect polling place information.

Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg said the erroneous cards were sent to voters in 3-4 precincts before county employees realized the mistakes, which included outdated precinct information (as a result of this year’s redistricting process) and incorrect polling place addresses. The mistakes were the result of a computer that was improperly programmed, Lindberg said.

Voters receiving a second mailing will get a new voter registration card and a letter explaining the errors. Adding to the confusion is the fact that many of the initially-mailed voter registration cards actually contained no incorrect information. An unknown number of the first batch of mailings did contain errors, however, so the entire batch is being sent again.

The problems arose as the county took its voter registration card mailings in-house. Lindberg noted that a contractor had been used to send the mailings in previous years. This year, to save money, the county took advantage of new mailroom and printing equipment to send the voter registration cards without outside help. In the end, she estimates, the cost to taxpayers will be about the same as previous years, despite the errors.

Lindberg said that the problems did not significantly delay the mailings.

“Everybody should have new cards by the end of next week, and that’s still ample time before the [Aug. 23] primary,” she said, adding that “most people will only get one card.”

Hat tip to Ian L.

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