If you mailed your vote in for Florida’s primary, are you sure it counted? As Matt Galka tells us, some areas of the state aren’t letting voters know if they signed their absentee ballots or not.
It was a record breaking primary election in Florida. Certainly not for turnout, with a dismal 18 percent of Floridians voting. But mail in voting went up by more than a quarter of a million ballots from four years ago.
“It’s a good thing that voters have choices in Florida, and we give them options, and they obviously like early voting and they like absentee voting,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner after polls closed Tuesday.
More options can bring more problems. The potential for voters forgetting to sign their mail in ballots as more people choose to vote that way. Without a signature, the ballot isn’t counted. Voting rights group State Voices has been pouring over the data.
“The problem we’ve discovered is that 5 of the counties aren’t notifying voters that they’ve received unsigned ballots. There’s a process where they can come in and cure the ballot, but they aren’t being notified or told, so it’s very possible about 871 votes just didn’t count,” said Brad Ashwell with the group.
The five counties: Orange, Duval, Alachua, Broward and Polk don’t legally have to notify voters. It’s up to the voter themselves to find out if they forgot to sign their ballots.
Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho says many counties notify people anyway.
“We use telephone methods, we used email, any way we could try to get these voters to realize if you don’t come in to cure this, your ballot won’t count,” said Sancho.\
The solution is a simple one, voters need to remember to sign the ballot.
“Every vote counts, so if there’s one vote compromised, we need to look at the issue,” said Ashwell.
Because the amount of unsigned votes is a fraction of the total, the impact on turnout for the primary was minimal. Being able to correct your unsigned ballot was taken away in 2005, but put back in place by the legislature last year.
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