Printing error on Collier absentee ballots
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - A printing error leading to confusion on absentee ballots in one Southwest Florida county.
So far 38,000 absentee ballots have gone out to voters in Collier County.
That means more than 20% of the county's registered voters are affected.
"My wife and I signed up for an absentee ballot for the first time," Dennis Leffert tells us.
The Naples resident and his wife were looking forward to voting absentee.
"I filled it out, and when I was ready to mail it back in, I noticed that one of the envelopes, what they referred to as the secrecy envelope was missing," Leffert explains.
It's instruction number 4 on the mailing.
And Leffert is concerned, "in the instructions that they send, they're very strict and if anything is wrong, your vote doesn't count. So I felt that if I sent it in the regular return envelope, it would not count."
So there Dennis and his wife Natalie's ballots sit, on the kitchen table.
"I'm concerned that my vote will not be counted," he says plainly.
What makes the problem even more concerning is that so many collier county voters are expecting their ballot by mail.
"We have roughly about 38,000 absentee request so far," says Collier County Deputy Supervisor of
Elections Tim Durham, "so we're looking at very strong absentee voting."
We alerted him to the problem.
"You can see it does say "secrecy sleeve" here on the top of the document. The choice of the word "envelope" in the body of the document is unfortunate, Durham tells us.
Reporter: "They read the instructions, and they're really concerned their vote won't count."
Durham: "It will."
Reporter: "Should the office maybe make an effort so the wording is not as confusing?"
Durham: "Yeah, and it was in the primary ballot, it did specify "sleeve" and not "envelope." We're still looking into this, but we believe it was the printer made an error."
Reporter: "What should people do?"
Durham: "Just put your ballot in this green piece of paper and mail it back to us."
Again -- the elections office want to reassure -- your ballot will count with or without the secrecy sleeve.
Just make sure you sign the voter certificate.
That's the biggest reason absentee ballots are rejected