October 16, 2020

Errors in absentee ballots sent to Taos, San Juan County

Thousands of absentee ballots sent to voters in two counties contained errors on them that could impact those votes being counted. The errors were first reported by Taos News, after residents in Taos reported receiving their returned ballots and social media posts about the issue began circulating online. 

Alex Curtas, communications director for the New Mexico Secretary of State, confirmed to the Taos News that ballots sent to residents in Taos County and San Juan County contained errors in a barcode printed on the outer envelope of the ballot that route the ballot back to the voter, rather than to the respective county clerks’ offices. 

“The USPS is aware of this issue and has put a procedure in place to ensure all ballots are delivered to the county clerk,” Curtas told Taos News. “Voters who may have been affected by this issue should use NMVOTE.ORG to track their ballot or call their county clerk’s office to confirm receipt of their ballot. Voters should also be aware that they can drop their absentee ballot off at any polling location in their county.”

The error is printed on absentee ballots sent to 4,000 Taos County voters and 6,500 San Juan County voters, according to Curtas. Over 6,200 voters in Taos County and 10,000 voters in San Juan County have requested absentee ballots as of Friday morning. Also as of Friday, 1,178 voters in Taos County and 3,099 in San Juan County have returned absentee ballots.

Calls made by NM Political Report to the Secretary of State’s office regarding the issue were not returned as of press time.  

Earlier this year, a vendor for Grant County sent absentee ballot applications to addresses with names that did not exist. The Grant County clerk said this could not result in absentee ballots being sent to those not registered.