Firm helping board of elections with mail-in ballots says demand has exceeded expectations

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*Watch our recent report on absentee ballot delays in Summit County*

CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Cleveland firm who was hired to help expedite the ballot distribution process said the demand has exceeded their expectation.

In a press release issued Thursday, Midwest Direct said they were hired by 16 counties in Ohio and two counties in western Pennsyvlania. They have been working with them since August to make sure everything goes smoothly, and so far it has.

“Anticipating that the volume of requests might be two times what it was in 2016, our company bought extra equipment, brought in extra staff and expanded hours to prepare to meet the demand,” said Michelle Toivonen, Director of Strategic Marketing.

She noted that one of the counties had expected 40,000 to 70,000 mail-ballot requests. However, the firm has already processed 95,000 requests for that county and had another 14,000 ballots requested this week.

“Despite this unparalleled volume, we are getting ballots into the hands of voters quickly and accurately. The Postal Service delivery standards are 5 to 7 days. However, utilizing our mail tracking software we are seeing up to 85 percent of the ballots we are processing are arriving in the hands of voters one to two days after they are shipped to the post office,” said Toivonen.

She said their staff is working 16 hours every day to make sure everyone who wants a ballot gets one in time to cast their vote. They have also been in regular contact with Ohio’s Secretary of State.

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