Voters received altered mail-in ballot forms in at least 4 counties, state says

Forms listed incorrect deadline to resolve issues with ballot

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – The Florida Department of State has identified several possible election law violations involving mail-in ballots and has referred the cases to federal prosecutors.

Current law requires the signatures on mail-in ballots and a voter's registration form to match. If the signatures do not match, a voter has until the day before Election Day to fix the problem.

"Supervisors in at least four counties have received altered forms wrongly directing the voter to return the form by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 08, 2018," Department of State interim General Counsel Bradley McVay wrote to prosecutors. The actual deadline was Nov. 5. 

The altered forms were found in Broward, Citrus, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.

"They have obviously gotten the deadlines for the (vote-by-mail ballots) and the (provisional ballots) mixed up, but a bigger problem is the fact they actually changed one of the DOE Forms," Citrus County Supervisor of Elections Susan Gill wrote in an email.

Making or using an altered mail-in ballot form is a criminal offense under Florida law, the department said.

The state Democratic Party appears to have sent the altered forms, according to emails released by the Florida Department of State.

A request for comment from the state Democratic Party was not immediately returned.

"The voters of Florida clearly deserve answers about this either incompetent or intentional behavior," said Joe Jackson, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.