Elections board fixes address problem

LISBON – The Columbiana County elections board has corrected a problem that occurred when some of the early voting applications contained a return mailing address for the old board office.

The first batch of 120 early-voting applications contained about 50 or so return envelopes listing the board’s old offices as 41 N. Park Ave. instead of its new location in the county government services building on Dickey Drive. The board moved there in June 2012.

Board Director Adam Booth knew they were using what remained of the postage-paid return envelopes with the old address but did so after checking with Lisbon’s postmaster, who told him any return envelopes received with the old address would be forwarded to the new office location.

The problem is some of the envelopes with the old address went to post offices outside the county, which returned them to the applicants as undeliverable. Booth said he was contacted by about five applicants who had this happen to them.

The board corrected the problem by sending postcards to all applicants advising them of the situation and asking them to write in the new address if their envelope contained the old address.

“We told those who were affected to send it to the new address and we’ve received many like that,” Booth said, adding the staff was also instructed to remove and dispose of any envelopes with the old address to avoid any future problems.

The problem was corrected in mid-October, and only those envelopes with the current address were mailed to early voting applicants after that.

Booth said he was merely trying to save money by using up the postage-paid envelopes with the old address left over from 2012. He said they had a significant number of envelopes left over because 2012 was a presidential year, when early voting is significantly higher than other years. A record 10,076 residents voted early in the November 2012 election.

“We were trying to save money but it’s not worth the hassle” that resulted, Booth said.