Overland Park man going to school in California says he never received requested mail-in ballot

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OLATHE, Kan. — One week remains until Election Day, and voting by mail continues at a robust pace in Johnson County, Kansas.

However, at least one voter who requested a ballot said it didn’t show up in his west coast mailbox.

“I put my faith in this system, and it’s obviously failed me,” Trent Herdtner, an Overland Park native attending the University of Southern California, said.

Herdtner is a fourth-year student at USC in Los Angeles. He said he and his parents requested their ballots by mail during the summertime. Herdtner said his parents’ ballots arrived at their home in Overland Park, but his ballot didn’t arrive in Southern California.

“I’m running out of time,” Herdtner said. “I think what we’re left with is either I’m going to need the ballot sent to me overnight, and I’ll need to complete it quickly and send it back.”

It’s either that, or don’t vote at all, according to Herdtner. He said when his father contacted the Johnson County Election Office, it was found a clerical error was found to be the cause of the mistake.

Election officials told FOX4 that’s why Herdtner’s ballot was returned by the U.S. Postal Service. Connie Schmidt, JOCO’s election commissioner, said her office planned to overnight the ballot to Herdnter on the west coast on Tuesday afternoon.

“A mistake is going to happen. The most important thing is how we recover from that mistake,” Schmidt said. “We’ve probably overnighted less than six ballots to people because we made a mistake, or there was an issue that they had the wrong address on their voter record, or it was a student away at college. We’ve just done the best way we could to get the ballot to them in time.”

Schmidt said 160,000 ballots were sent by mail to Johnson County voters, and 120,000 have been successfully returned. She said only five or six errors like this one have been spotted. When they are, according to Schmidt, it’s her office’s procedure to send a ballot to the voter overnight.

“Everyone knows how important it is, even compared to other elections in the past. For that reason, the frustration is more escalated,” Herdtner said.

Schmidt said, as of Tuesday, there’s still time to return ballots via U.S. Mail. However, if a voter decides to return that ballot via overnight delivery, the voter must pay the expense for shipping, even if that ballot was sent to them via overnight delivery in the first place.

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