Middletown officials are advising residents not to mail their ballots for the town’s Feb. 22 election to fill a commissioner’s seat, but rather to turn them in at the town’s offices, citing issues with the delivery of ballots to residents’ homes.
The town on Jan. 25 sent out mail-in ballots for the special election between candidates Kevin Stottlemyer and Eric Ware to replace Commissioner Larry Bussard, who resigned in September, taking them to the post office to be mailed through U.S. bulk mail, Burgess John Miller said Tuesday.
They asked postal officials if the approximately 3,600 ballots could be sorted into trays to be delivered by route and were told they could, he said.
Many of the ballots were delivered the next day, and the town even got some ballots in its drop box at the town office by Jan. 27.
But Miller said the town was told that “a tray or two” of ballots may have gotten sent to a U.S. Postal Service facility in Baltimore.
There’s no way to determine how many ballots have made it to residents and how many haven’t, Miller said, but some town officials have gotten ballots and their spouses have not or vice versa.
Miller urged anyone who hasn’t gotten a ballot yet to come to the town office and get another one.
They can fill out the ballot there or take it home and bring it back.
“We’re telling them, do not mail the ballot,” Miller said.
The town’s election judges will be able to make sure that no one votes twice, he said.
The town held an all vote-by-mail election for the burgess and two commissioners’ seats in April, which saw dramatically higher turnout than previous elections.
That election saw 1,104 votes out of 3,608 registered voters, compared to 359 votes in 2018.