Over 200 Duval County mail-in-ballots scrutinized after being rejected by machines

As of Monday afternoon, over 15% of registered voters in Duval County have cast a ballot, many by mail, and some of those ballots have had problems.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As of Monday afternoon, over 15% of registered voters in Duval County have cast a ballot, many by mail, and some of those ballots have had problems.

The canvassing board is now taking a closer look at more than 200 votes.

NEWS4JAX VOTER’S GUIDE: What and who is on your ballot?

When the ballots were fed into a machine they were kicked out because either someone voted for two or more candidates in one race, they might have crossed out a vote or a ballot was marked in pencil or the wrong colored pen. Some might have been ripped so the ballots need to be remade. So now the board is looking at each one to try to determine what the voter intended to do.

In the past, these votes have been important in close races and can determine if someone wins or loses, but they have also been the target of criticism when it comes to judging the fairness of an election.

This year the number is small, but later the board will look at signatures of voters who have mailed in ballots that don’t match what’s on file, and 324 of those voters have been notified. In that case, voters have until two days after the election, this Thursday, to make that correction. So far 103 people have responded.

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

News4JAX walks voters through the election office's preparation for election day on Tuesday.

Many people are used to dropping off ballots at the election office the night before an election but that is no longer allowed. Voters can do that during the day on Tuesday and citizens can also vote by absentee ballot if they can’t make it to their precinct.

Two of the biggest issues on the ballot Tuesday: the sheriff’s race and a referendum on school taxes.

That’s why a 30% turnout is expected.

Poll workers who were getting equipment ready on Monday said they are confident the election will go off without a problem.

News4JAX spoke with several of them about what they expect and asked if they are nervous about how the public will behave.

“I feel pretty good. Not too worried. I think we’ll have a good turnout. Can’t wait to get the day started and get it done,” said poll worker Tanika Tutson.

Tutson said she feels safe, despite some of the threats poll workers have been receiving around the country.

Some residents were still dropping off vote-by-mail ballots on Monday. Those we spoke to said even though they are using vote-by-mail ballots they believe their vote will be counted without any problems.

“Voting is important because it gives you a voice and as a young person I also think it’s important for us to exercise that right,” Simone Tisdei said.

As of Monday afternoon, about 100,000 votes have been cast in Duval County.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.