How S. Floridians Canceled Their Own Votes

Dec 26, 2012

Floridians will remember how hard it was to vote on election day in November of 2012.

But many will forget what was easy: Losing their vote because of simple mistakes.

UNRECOVERABLE ERROR: A lot of South Floridians canceled their own votes with time, place and signature mistakes.

More than a thousand voters in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties disenfranchised themselves, according to a Sun Sentinel story, by forgetting to sign their absentee ballot envelopes, showing up at the wrong precinct  or just sending the ballot in after deadline.

And the Sentinel says there was no shortage of ways for confused  citizens to throw away their votes:

At least 26 in the three counties made the mistake of letting someone else sign the envelope. And at least 674 had signatures on absentee or provisional ballot envelopes that didn't match their official signature on file.

In Broward County, 173 ballots were nixed because the voters had skipped two consecutive election cycles and rendered their registrations inactive.

With the precinct changes that followed redistricting, there were voters who stood in line at the wrong place.

In Broward, 148 voters did that, and their votes weren't counted. In Miami-Dade, 111 voted in the wrong precinct. In Palm, 428 did.

And the late ballots are still coming in. Miami-Dade elections officials just received one in a 2004 election envelope. And, in Broward, they are still receiving ballots from the 2008 election.

One thousand disqualified ballots, give or take, wouldn't have made much of a difference in the top-of-the-ballot races. But many local elections were settled by just a few votes...and some of the winners may owe their victories to thoughtless errors.