Thursday marks deadline for primary voters to ‘cure’ or fix mail ballots in Florida

Investigations

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida has now experienced its first major pandemic primary and faced the first significant test of the coronavirus-era election system. So how did our state do and what can we expect in November?

On Tuesday, more than a thousand people called the state’s Division of Elections Voter Assistance Hotline. They had questions about their precincts, ballots and mail-in voting.

Now there’s a push to educate voters before November.

“There have been isolated challenges,” said Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee.

A polling place in Pasco County briefly lost power, as did several sites in Leon County.

But Secretary Lee says, state-wide, the in-person turnout for Tuesday’s primary was mostly trouble-free.

“We do anticipate that there will be a much higher turnout in November’s presidential election,” said Secretary Lee.

State officials expect a higher turnout with more Floridian’s turning to mail-in voting.

Citrus Elections Supervisor Susan Gill is hiring an extra worker to prepare for the surge.

“We had some great cooperation from our post office,” said Gill.

Gill says, on Tuesday, she saw a level of cooperation she hadn’t seen in her 24 years on the job.

“They personally delivered – from several different post offices in the county – 80 additional ballots,” said Gill. “Thought that was great. So they’re really trying.”

In Hernando County, Elections Supervisor Shirley Anderson is also strengthening her postal ties ahead of November, all while she continues to educate voters about mail ballots.

“We had 151 people that sent their ballots in with no signature,” said Anderson. “Currently 72 have cured that.”

“We had 146 people that had a signature difference and 69 of those have returned cures already,” she added.

Voters have until Thursday at 5 p.m. to “cure” or fix their ballots. Voters should contact their local elections supervisor with any questions.

If you had any voting or election issues, email investigator Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com

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