Vote watch: Man given wrong ballot

Published On: Oct 29 2012 10:20:00 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 29 2012 11:50:12 AM EDT
aia-flood

-- Above you see a photograph (courtesy of Art Seitz) of the AIA River. Yes it used to be a road, but for now it's part of the sea. Nobody's ever seen anything like this before. I'm not making any scientific connection here, but doesn't it remind you, eerily, of global warming predictions about sea levels rising and coastal areas of South Florida going underwater?

-- With voting underway across South Florida -- 105,000 people voted in Broward and Miami-Dade counties over the weekend -- it's time to keep a close watch on potential problems.

And we had a small one in Hallandale -- a voter named William Thralls was given the wrong ballot is all.

Below is Thralls' email to elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes. The Hallandale resident was asked to vote for the mayor of Hollywood instead of his own city. The issue was resolved by poll worker and Thralls was given the correct ballot after his complaint.

"I am quite worried to learn that incorrect ballots are being issued," wrote Broward County Commissioner Suzanne Gunzburger in response to the problem. "That is a problem which Dr. Snipes needs to resolve."

It's probably an isolated incident, mistakes happen, but it's a reminder to stay vigilant when you vote.

From: William Thralls
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:16 AM
To: elections@browardsoe.org; registration@browardsoe.org; pollworker@browardsoe.org; opsupport@browardsoe.org
Cc: Gunzburger, Suzanne
Subject: Early Voting - Hallandale

Dr. Snipes;

You may remember me from the Primary where the poll workers were unable to resolve a problem with my ballot.  I greatly appreciate your intervention and the speed with which that was resolved. I am writing you today to inform you of another problem with the polls in Hallandale Beach (and possibly other locations.) This morning, I opted to take advantage of early voting at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center. I was treated very well and have no problem with any of the poll workers. However, when filling out the ballot I was issued, I was quite surprised to find I was voting for the Mayor of Hollywood instead of Hallandale. When I returned the ballot to the attendants and informed them that I had been issued a ballot for a district in which I did not live, I was at first treated as if that was impossible and that I must be a troublemaker.  One of the poll workers actually remembered the primary incident where I was unable to cast my ballot and referred to me as "that trouble maker." I am happy to inform you that, this time, the situation was resolved without further incidence and I was able to vote the appropriate ballot for my residence. However, this incidence was only resolved because I was aware of who should be on the ballot I was casting and so, I am concerned, that many improper ballots may have been cast and may improperly effect local elections including Federal Congressional Representative, State Representative and local county and city officials.

Since it may not be possible to determine the extent of the potential problem, I think it is fair to question the validity of the early voting process in place for Broward County and I would encourage your office to look into this as soon as possible. I would not want my vote invalidated by a challenge to the voting process.

William H. Thralls