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Computer Glitch Leaves Butler County Residents Waiting For Mail-In Ballots Despite Applying Weeks Ago

BUTLER COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) -- There are concerns over mail-in ballots in Butler County.

KDKA has heard from numerous voters who said they haven't received their ballot even though they were reportedly mailed out more than a month ago.

Leslie Osche, chair of the Butler County commissioners, told KDKA that there was a glitch in the SURE system, which is partially to blame. She assured county voters that everything is under control and the ballots are coming.

Carly Starrett, of Butler City, was one of those impacted by the glitch.

"I really need my vote to count just like anyone else's," said Starrett.

She applied for her mail-in ballot on Sept. 5. According to the SURE system, her ballot was mailed on Oct. 5. She checks the mailbox daily, but nine days later, nothing has arrived.

"I live in the city, so I am not really understanding why this is taking so long. I can send a letter to somebody across town and they will get it in a day, maybe two," said Starrett.

Commissioner Osche said the issue is widespread. She said someone at the state level entered the wrong information into the SURE system last Thursday, changing the ballot status for voters across Pennsylvania.

"It tells you that your ballot was mailed back in mid or early September before we even had a certified ballot," Osche told KDKA.

Adding to the delay, the state Supreme Court didn't rule on a challenge to the ballot until last month. That meant Butler County did not even have ballots printed until three weeks ago.

"Because there was a challenge with the Green party and until that challenge was resolved in the courts, we couldn't even print ballots," said Osche.

Also, Butler County did not hire an outside contractor to process the nearly 40,000 ballot requests received, some of which are duplicates. There are still roughly 800 new requests daily.

Commissioner Osche said more than 17,000 ballots will be mailed before the end of the week. She remains confident that county voters will get their ballots before the election.

"Remain calm because everyone is going to be able to vote in this county fairly," said Osche.

The Butler County Bureau of Elections has received an overwhelming volume of phone calls regarding ballots and some callers have been unable to get through. Commissioners held a meeting Wednesday, addressing ways to fix that problem.

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