Post Office mix-up causes Cleveland County woman’s ballot to be sent back to her

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MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Cleveland County woman is glad she sent her absentee ballot in early after of a mix-up at the post office.

Carolyn Freeze says she got her ballot sent back to her a week after she put it in the mailbox.

“Seven days later, I get it back in the mail, saying, ‘return to sender, no such address, it’s not forwardable,'” she said.

The envelope is the one sent out by the Cleveland County Election Board with the address already printed on it. 

Freeze says she has voted absentee for the past two years and has never had any problems until now.

“I was just a little bit concerned about why this would happen,” Freeze said.

She went to the Election Board to figure out what happened and to get her ballot in.

The Election Board says a mistake happened at the Post Office.

“Somewhere in the process when she mailed it form Moore, the wrong zip code was applied for the automation, and when the automation read it, they were reading our address with the wrong zip code and of course no such number,” Kathy Singer, assistant secretary at the Cleveland County Election Board, said.

Singer says it’s something she’s never seen before.

If it happens to you, she says you should take it to the Election Board in person.

“I wouldn’t try and mail it again,” she said.

Singer also wants to remind people to get their ballot in as early as possible.

As for Freeze, she says this may change her mind about voting absentee next time.

“I’ll probably go stand in line,” she said.

The USPS released the following statement:

The Postal Service’s number one priority between now and Election Day is the secure, on-time delivery of the nation’s Election Mail.  We employ a robust process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail, including ballots.

Without a review of the actual mailpiece, the Postal Service cannot determine why the mailpiece was returned.  The U.S. Mail remains a secure, efficient and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the electoral process, and the Postal Service is proud of our role as an important component of the nation’s democratic process. We regret any concern caused.

Voters are responsible for understanding their local jurisdiction’s rules and requirements for participating in an election. The Postal Service recommends that in jurisdictions that require eligible voters to request a ballot in order to receive one through the mail, we recommend that domestic, nonmilitary voters request their ballot as early as their jurisdiction allows. The Postal Service further recommends that domestic, non-military voters who choose to use the mail to return their completed ballot, mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to their state’s deadline. Some states may recommend allowing even more time for mailing completed ballots. The Postal Service also recommends that voters explore the resources available from their local election officials for information about deadlines, rules, policies, and other requirements in their locality.

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