FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In a contentious three-hour hearing, the Broward supervisor of elections spoke for the first time publicly under oath about the faulty mail-in ballots that were missing the question about Amendment 2, which relates to the legality of medical marijuana.
Dr. Brenda Snipes said the office was beginning to research how ballots could possibly be printed differently, but called it a mystery.
The office has confirmed that two voters in Oakland Park received mail-in ballots that omitted the medical marijuana question. Two other allegations are unconfirmed, and the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, the group bringing the lawsuit, claims there could potentially be more in the future.
"How do we know, as more of these ballots are mailed out to 27 other cities, that the problem won't be exponentially greater and larger?" NORML attorney Norm Kent said.
Several voters who claimed to be affected by the faulty ballots testified during Thursday's hearing.
"I figured I'd fix it myself by going to an early voting place and taking my absentee ballot like it instructed you to do," Cary Gandolfi said.
Gandolfi believes that she was sent a faulty ballot, but the elections office has not confirmed her claims.
Anne Sallee was one of the two voters who the elections office said received faulty ballots.
"I took my ballot to the office, and at that point, a new ballot was a mailed to me. It was in my mailbox that night," she said.
While Snipes has rectified the vote for those who came forward with bad ballots, NORML wants the court to compel her to do more by tracing and confirming the error, fixing the problem and advertising to voters to be alert for potential defects.
Snipes said her office is already taking active measures.
"We don't have a long soliloquy here, but we are taking active measures throughout the day, every day," she said.
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