Strange error on some St. Louis County sample ballots creating cause for concern

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Sample ballots were sent out to 650,000 voters across St. Louis County, but there were some issues on a few of them regarding names of candidates on the Republican ticket.

“They’ve done literally millions of pieces of printing for us since I got here a year and a half ago and this has never happened before," said Rick Stream, Republican Director of Elections.

Some voters are raising a red flag on Facebook after finding a strange error on sample ballots in St. Louis County.

“We've identified two voters on the same street in Sycamore Hills who got a ballot and notice of election card that had on the Republican ballot gibberish for the names,” Stream said. “The actual headings on the ballot were correct."

Stream said he's contacted the printing company, who thinks the error may have been caused by a paper jam.

“I'm Republican director, so clearly I would’ve not have wanted this to happen, but we think it’s just a mess up somewhere at the printer,” he said. “The printer checked the files we sent over this morning again and he said they were accurate.”

But just to be safe, Stream said the St. Louis County Board of Elections will send out new sample ballots to everyone in the Midland 14 Precinct.

Democratic Director of Elections Eric Fey said St. Louis County is the only county in the state to send out personalize sample ballots in the hopes of encouraging voter turnout and streamlining the voting process.

Fey said they have a contingency plan in place if there's a printing issue on the real ballots.

“We can always fall back to the touchscreens or we can always get replacements out, but we do not anticipate that," he said.

Fey said there’s generally less than 30 percent voter turnout for the primaries, but they're projecting closer to 35 percent for this election since there are a few big-ticket items on the ballot.

“Obviously, Proposition A, the statewide proposition, is garnering a lot of attention statewide. I think if there’s anything to drive turnout, it’s probably going to be that," Fey said.

Absentee voting is going on now until August 6. Election Day is on the following day, with polls opening from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.