Elections supervisor encourages early, proper submission to ensure vote counts

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Credit: WINK News

Thousands of Floridian’s votes weren’t counted in the March presidential primary. But Lee County’s Supervisor of Elections said the reasons most of those votes were rejected are legitimate.

We spoke to Supervisor Tommy Doyle in Lee County Monday about how all votes can be counted and what can be done to fix potential problems with ballots.

In March’s presidential primary, the state rejected 18,000 votes.

“Most ballots are rejected because they’ve arrived too late, because we have a lot of envelopes come in without signatures on them, and we must have a signature to verify that the voter sent it in,” Doyle said.

Doyle walked me through typical mistakes voters make, and the goal is to bring that 18,000 figure way down.

“The voters just need to read the directions and get the ballots to us in time,” Doyle said.

Doyle told us he recommends voters using a mail-in ballot put the ballot in the mail 10 days before election day. He wants people to make sure their signature makes it on the ballot.

“We match these two together, and that’s a mismatch,” Doyle said. “I mean, it’s pretty obvious when it’s a mismatch.”

But, if you provide your contact information, the elections office will not automatically reject your ballot.

“We will call him; we will email him,” Doyle said.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office will give a voter time to correct his or her ballot. That can’t happen if the ballot arrives late.

What will cause an automatic rejection?

“They vote a sample ballot, Doyle said. “What we do with a sample ballot, they’ll vote every race in the sample ballot.”

The elections office also sees voters put two ballots, inside of one envelope, but only one will be counted. Some people put check marks instead of filling in the ovals.

Doyle says his office can’t fix mistakes like that. Doyle told us, if you follow directions and send your ballots in early, there shouldn’t be any issues.

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