FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – As Broward voters headed to the polls Monday in the first day of early voting for the General Election, workers at the county’s Supervisor of Elections Office began opening returned mail-in ballots to see any of them were missing the Amendment 2 question.
On hand to watch them was Ben Pollara, the campaign manager of the group United We Care which supports legalizing medical marijuana.
“Not a single ballot missing Amendment 2 was found this morning,” said Pollara. “My concern on this has been from the outset not that there is necessarily a whole lot of volume on this, it doesn’t seem like there is. But, we don’t know.”
The initiative was on the ballot just two years ago but it fell short of passing, only receiving 58 percent of the vote instead of the 60 percent which was needed. Back then Broward County was one of the highest percentage of “yes” votes statewide.
Late last week, Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes looked into the Amendment 2 question missing from several ballots mailed to residents in Oakland Park. She said she believes it was an isolated case because they had to print a new ballot after someone dropped out of a race.
“It’s our belief that a test ballot may have been left on the machine and got incorporated into the stack,” said Dr. Snipes. “So if there were only five to seven of them then there’s a possibility we’ll see five more, there’s a possibility no more test ballots were incorporated into this.”
“Dr. Snipes has told us that for the rest of the day they’re gonna be continuing to count, they’re to be continuing to verify that every ballot that they open contains Amendment 2 and they’re comitted throughout this process,” said Pollara.
United for Care said it has called the State Division of Elections and that they’re aware of the problem. But, the DOE also said it’s Broward County’s issue to deal with.
The Dr. Snipes said anyone with an absentee ballot who thinks there might be a problem can go the Broward County Elections Headquarters in Lauderhill and staff will switch it out for a new ballot.