'Overvotes' a problem on absentee ballots

Voters choosing more than one candidate in certain races

Published On: Nov 01 2012 02:49:18 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 01 2012 05:58:48 PM EDT
Paper ballot
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

While there has been record turnout for early and absentee voting this election cycle, there have also been a few problems.

Some people voting absentee have been voting for more than one candidate.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said some voters are casting ballots for several people in the presidential race and, for some reason, in the soil and water conservation races. It's called an overvote.

"We are seeing some of that," Holland said. "Typically in every election, people do not look at the directions that says vote for one candidate in a race. That happens sometimes when they vote for everybody for president except for one candidate, almost like a protest."

The canvassing board is the group that remakes those ballots and has to check and see what the voter intended and if those will be accepted or not.

"We remade about 1,600 ballots. They are not all for overvotes," Holland said. "Some have spilled coffee or changed their minds and made that indication on their absentee ballots. There are some that voted twice in the presidential race and soil and water conservation."

Of those reviewed so far, there has been 500 overvotes in Duval County. Only those races where voters voted more than once will be rejected. The others on their ballot in which they voted correctly will count.

But why is there confusion?

"I think on the (presidential race), there are so many running," Holland said. "There are 12 choices that maybe they can pick more than one. But again, the directions are you can only pick one."