Darien clerk says man’s ballot was returned. But he never received one.
DARIEN — An absentee ballot appears to have been wrongly sent to a local woman who filled it out and returned it without realizing it wasn’t hers, the town clerk’s office said.
The issue was discovered when Travis Scoles contacted the Darien Town Clerk’s Office about not receiving his absentee ballot. Scoles said the U.S. Postal Service indicated ballots for him and his wife were set to be delivered, but his never arrived.
“When we went to check the mail that day, no luck — we received the rest of the mail, but the ballots were missing. Three days later, my wife's ballot was delivered to the mailbox. Mine never showed up,” he said.
Scoles said the town clerk’s office had a record of sending ballots to him and his wife. Even more strange, he said, was the town clerk’s office told him his ballot had already been returned.
“That seems impossible, since I never was in possession of the ballot at any point,” he said. “They looked around and found the physical ballot, and asked me to come in to verify the signature.”
Scoles said he discovered the inner envelope, which he was told not to open, was signed by a woman who lives a few streets away from him.
Scoles said the town clerk’s staff said the outer address had the woman’s return address on it.
Assistant Town Clerk Lisa Buxton said her office did not realize the ballot was incorrectly filled out because it was in an inner envelope and absentee ballots are not opened until Election Day.
She said Scoles was issued a new ballot, but her office has not been able to reach the woman who had filled out the wrong ballot. Buxton said the woman had requested a ballot of her own. It remains unknown how the woman received Scoles’ ballot.
Buxton and a manager at the U.S. Post Office on Corbin Drive said they have not received any similar complaints in Darien.
Absentee ballots are in high demand in Darien and around the state. As of Wednesday, Buxton said Darien had issued 6,265 absentee ballots and 4,639 had been returned. In 2016, Darien issued 1,695 ballots and 1,490 were returned.