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Absentee Ballot Canvas

By: Ann Nucatola
By: Ann Nucatola

Stressed out elections officials say Democrats and Republicans were on hand Friday morning hoping to iron out any problems discovered by staff and the canvassing board.

This year, the Leon County Canvassing Board consists of two county judges and the supervisor of elections. The Friday before Election Day, the board along with election staff went over the received mail-in ballots, about 15,000, first moving quickly then hitting a slow spot.

Janet Olin, Leon County Assistant Supervisor of Elections, says, "What's slowed the process down is those whose signature might not match. Staff doesn't feel comfortable with it or those that didn't sign the ballot at all. Staff is taking careful action."

One of the reasons for this meeting was to allow political parties to make phone calls to voters whose mail-in ballots may have fixable problems, such as no signature, or one that doesn't match the registration.

Eric Thorn, a Republican Party volunteer, says, "We're basically just observing the board's process as they examine the ballots to make sure the ballots are counted."

Ron Meyer adds, "The Canvassing Board is determining which absentee ballots have been received with some kind of problem. The Florida Democratic Party is going through and contacting people who either didn't sign their ballot or their signature doesn't match to give them every opportunity to make sure their ballot counts."

It's not just big political parties showing interest.

Barbara Rollins says, "I'm here to represent my community. I want to make sure that all citizens’ votes count."

An estimated 24,000 voters have requested a mail-in ballot, and 15,000 have come back to the supervisor’s office. Of those 15,000, only 20 have been rejected.


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