TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tuesday marks exactly one week until election night and 8 On Your Side is still getting questions from viewers about mail-in voting.
8 On Your Side has received a handful of emails from viewers who say they’ve received two ballots by mail.
Last weekend, Kiersten Marino decided to cast her ballot during early voting in Hillsborough County. Along with her dog Tia, Marino took two mail-in ballots that were addressed to her to the polling place.
“You surrendered both of the ballots and you cast your ballot in person?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.
“Yes ma’am,” said Marino. “I was just upset. I thought, is this some way people are cheating?”
Concerned about potential fraud, Marino shared cell phone video of the ballots with 8 On Your Side. We showed the clip to Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
“Those ballots are from two separate elections,” Latimer explained. “One of them was from the presidential preference primary in March and the other is from the current general election going on right now.”
According to Latimer, if you signed up for vote-by-mail, you could’ve gotten up to three ballots for the three different elections this year.
But even if someone does get two ballots for the same election, Latimer says there are systems in place to ensure no one votes twice.
“If you vote by mail, as soon as that envelope hits our office, it’s registered that you voted,” Latimer said. “It cancels your ability then to check-in and in-person vote.”
The Supervisor of Elections Office must receive your vote-by-mail ballot no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day for your ballot to count.
At this point, Latimer suggests dropping off your mail-in-ballot at an early voting site instead of putting it in the mail.
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