Florida top state for voter "election protection" calls

Huge early turnouts are leading to confusion for some prospective voters.

TAMPA — If you want to avoid the lines on election day remember early voting ends on Sunday. You might be surprised to find out how many people have already done it.

In Florida alone: almost 5 million have voted early. That means more than a third of registered voters have already cast their ballot. That's enough people to fill up Raymond James Stadium more than 73 times.

Another big number-- the amount of calls for election help here in Florida. 10News Political Reporter Mark Rivera shows you what you can do to protect your vote.

We know you’re having questions about your vote. Folks voting early in Florida have been blowing up the National Election Protection hotline more than any other state - 1,700 calls since early voting started last week. The top concern --- voting by mail --- and people asking “where the heck is my ballot?”

What can you do if you don't have your vote-by-mail ballot or know that the election office hasn't gotten it? If it comes down to it, go to an early voting location like or your voting precinct location on election day. If the election office doesn't have your mail-in ballot, you can cast a regular ballot in person.

Another top question -- you've moved, so where should you vote? If your county has electronic poll books like they do here in Hillsborough County, you can update your change of address at your new polling place whether you're in a new precinct or a new country altogether. You can update your address no matter what at your polling spot if you’ve moved within the same county, but may need to work with the Supervisor of Elections if you’ve moved from a different county.

The last question popping up: folks concerned with their voter registration after the deadline was extended.
There were 107,000 new registrations after Hurricane Matthew, but 18,000 of those had some form of mismatched signature.

The Supervisor of Elections is required to notify you if there’s an issue with your signature on your registration.

“Certainly if a voter has received word from the Supervisor of Elections that something needs to be clarified with their registration, I encourage them to reach out,” said Tampa Attorney Katherine O’Donniley.

Election experts say election hotlines are getting so many calls from Florida because there's been such an emphasis on a "rigged election."
You can track your "mail-in-ballot" online by clicking HERE.


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