The D.C. Council in October passed a law moving up the primary date to the first Tuesday of June, citing the need to comply with national party rules in the presidential primaries.
But the D.C. Board of Elections failed to change the old primary date listed on the back of cards mailed to 25,000 newly registered voters. The error affected more cards than the 5,000 the board acknowledged last week.
LaDawne White, a board spokeswoman, said the materials sent to voters were printed before the council changed the primary date.
The election board has ordered new voter registration cards that contain the correct dates for the primary election, the special election and the Nov. 3 general election.
Those cards are set to be mailed to the 25,000 voters who received incorrect dates with no explanation of the error.
It’s better not to repeat incorrect information, said Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice.
“The best way to counter incorrect information is to widely publicize correct information,” said Perez, director of the center’s voting rights and elections program, which was the first to raise the alarm on the wrong date.
Presidential candidates and local elected officials are on the June 2 primary ballot.
The council has repeatedly changed the date of the D.C. Democratic primary — often tantamount to the general election in a deep-blue city — over the past decade. Some civic activists says the changing dates have confused voters and may have contributed to declining turnout in mayoral primary years.
The D.C. elections board has faced criticism for mistakes in printing materials before, including an upside down flag on a voter guide in 2014 and absentee ballot envelopes without a “postage required” reminder in 2018.
Board officials did not answer repeated questions over the past week asking for an explanation for why the incorrect primary date was not spotted sooner and whether they would take measures to prevent future errors.