The election ended on Nov. 6, but more than a month later, ballots were still trickling in. They won’t be counted. They’ll go in the stack of ineligible ballots already piled high with those that were missing signatures, or those from voters who showed up in the wrong precinct. In an election so crucial to voters that many were willing to stand in lines at the polls for hours, hundreds threw their votes away — mostly through simple mistakes. “That happens every election,” said Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, “and it really is unfortunate.”
Figures released by elections officials in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties reveal one thing: There are many ways to waste one’s vote.
A few thousand votes wouldn’t have changed the presidential race this year. But there were other contests in South Florida whose outcome came down to fewer than 50 votes. A Hallandale Beach race was determined by just one vote.
One common mistake made in this year’s election: Filling out the ballot, sticking it in the envelope, and then forgetting to sign the envelope. Missing signatures doomed 1,877 ballots to the dead pile in the three counties – the largest number of them in Broward County.
A man in Palm Beach County made the mistake of writing his business address on his provisional ballot envelope, and that mistake cost him his vote.