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Some JoCo voters are worried they haven't received mail-in ballots

Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 20:14:27-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Tuesday marked the deadline for Johnson County voters to apply for a mail-in ballot.

For the upcoming election, Michael Kay from Overland Park chose to have his ballot mailed to him, so he could have enough time to review the candidates.

"Particularly judges. You have no clue whatsoever. They’re just on there," Kay said.

He submitted his request online on Oct. 16 without any problems.

A week went by and nothing came in the mail, so he called the Johnson County Election Office who told him it's out of their hands and they confirmed that the batch was sent to the post office on Oct. 19. 

As of Tuesday, he still hasn't received his ballot. 

Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker walked 41 Action News through the process.

Once absentee ballot applications are processed, the ballots are printed on demand.

Employees audit each ballot envelope, which have a special label for the U.S. Postal Service. 

"In theory, that’s supposed to alert them but when we have such sluggish performance on many occasions, such as this illustration, it makes it difficult for us to be totally in charge of our success," Metsker said.

A USPS spokesperson sent 41 Action News the following statement:

"The Postal Service is committed to being a partner in the execution of elections via absentee voting in Johnson County and the entire State of Kansas. We have partnered with the Johnson County Election Board to process and deliver nearly 50,000 absentee ballots for the 2018 election. The U.S. Mail serves as a secure, efficient and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the election process. While it is not possible to track the absentee ballot intended for the customer, we apologize for his inconvenience."

-Stacy St. John

Corporate Communications

Meanwhile across the state line, some Kansas City, Missouri voters are sending their absentee ballots to the wrong election office.

"People tend to believe that those election authorities services everybody, so if you sent it to the Jackson County Election Office that just as good to Kansas City," Lauri Ealom, one of the directors at the Kansas City Election Board said.

That error has election officials scrambling

"We’re just having people running back-and-forth and delivering to the surrounding election authorities," Ealom said.

As for Kay, he now plans to go to vote in person. He’ll have to use a provisional ballot but Metsker said it will be counted.

If you have an absentee ballot and are worried it might be delivered on time, there's a new option.

Johnson County has installed two drive-thru secure drop boxes right outside their election office along East Kansas City Road.