DELAND, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Residents in Volusia County are bringing up concerns about receiving extra mail-in ballots addressed to people who do not live in their homes.
According to the Supervisor of Elections Office, nearly 600 people out of 400,000 registered voters have returned ballots for a special election to decide on a half-cent sales tax increase in the county.
Some, like Jeff Brower, have received extra ballots for people who don’t live in his home -- one was for his daughter, who moved out of Florida eight years ago and the other was for a family friend who is no longer living.
Critics of the mail-in only election worry that, if this happened to several people, it may allow the opportunity for election fraud.
“She’s a very good friend, but she’s been deceased for five years,” Brower said. “How much opportunity does this give to having some kind of shenanigans with the vote? I already know. I see her answering Facebook messages at 1 o’clock in the morning about this very subject, so I know there’s a lot of it.”
Elections supervisor Lisa Lewis said she has addressed some of these concerns. Certain people will receive extra ballots, because some people do not advise the elections office that they have moved. Deceased voters are not purged from the election system for several years, unless the office is notified, she explained.
“We get notification from the state, or a member of the family can bring in a copy of the death certificate, and those are the only two ways we can remove someone deceased,” Lewis added.
However, Lewis reassured people the elections office is thorough and meticulous in order to catch voter fraud. She and her team manually review each ballot to match signatures to not just one, but multiple signatures on file.
“Nobody just scan, looks, scans, looks, and just accepts everything. We’re looking for key points on the signature,” Lewis said.
If you receive a ballot that is not yours, Lewis asks that you send it to the elections office immediately so they can take proper action.