Amendment 2 missing from 2 absentee ballots in Broward County

Elections supervisor defends ballot blunder

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward County's elections supervisor held a news conference Friday to explain why two voters in Oakland Park received absentee ballots with Amendment 2 missing.

The amendment would legalize marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions, as prescribed by doctors.

"We did reissue a new ballot to the voter and to her husband," Dr. Brenda Snipes said.

Some proponents of the medical marijuana amendment have filed a lawsuit because of the error.

"It is very concerning," Karen Seeb Goldstein, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws of Florida, told Local 10 News. "In 2014, we lost the election by a very slim margin, just 2.3 percent, and we know that every vote is going to count in this election."

Snipes said 92 different styles of ballots are printed in Broward County because of different municipal races.

"We have not received calls from any other voters that that amendment is missing," she said.

Snipes said when an Oakland Park city commission candidate dropped out late in the race, seven new test ballots were printed for coding purposes, but they were incomplete and may have gotten inadvertently mailed out, although she isn't sure.

Her office has had other issues this election cycle: Primary election returns were issued too early, and an incorrect translation on Creole ballots was discovered last week.

"Obviously, it is a concern when you hear stuff like this, and we are in this mode recently, talking a lot about elections rigging," United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara said.

Snipes said rigging doesn't have anything to do with the mishap.

"Things that we have under our control don't represent rigging to me," Snipes said. "Rigging might be something somebody does outside this facility."

About 240,000 absentee ballots have been mailed out in Broward County, and about 60,000 of them have been returned.

Snipes is asking any resident with a missing question on the ballot to contact her office immediately so that a replacement ballot can be issued.

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