Breaking down Lee County’s provisional ballots


In Southwest Florida, Lee County is combing through provisional ballots trying to ensure every voice is heard in the democratic process.

But some ballots will be rejected.

As the deadline inches closer for the three midterm election recounts in the state of Florida, canvassing boards are taking a close look at provisional ballots.

MORE: Possible recounts loom in tight Florida gov, Senate contests

“That would happen no matter what, whether there’s a recount or not,” said Tommy Doyle, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections.

The provisional ballots include votes from people who didn’t bring an ID to the polls or maybe changed their address before voting.

Doyle says he currently has about 500 provisional ballots the canvassing board will either accept or throw out.

“Who is on the canvassing board? It’ll be me, a county judge, and a county commissioner,” he said.

He says that first they will look at all of the ones that are accepted and they usually do that in bulk and next, Doyle says his canvassing board will look at roughly 60 “questionable” ballots.

What makes a ballot questionable?

“The signature may not match the file, he may have voted in the wrong precinct,” he said.

But even with these provisional ballots and likely recounts in three desperate races, Doyle says he doesn’t think Lee County’s numbers will change.

Still- with multiple close races- each decision is critical.

“We try hard to accept every ballot that someone submits because it’s very important. every vote counts and we advertise that,” he said.

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