When a federal judge ruled Thursday not to suspend election recount deadlines across Florida in the races for U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner, he also had some harsh words to say about the state’s handling of the elections. “We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said. To many people, it seems little has changed in Florida since 2000, when the U.S. presidential race was decided by the Sunshine State more than five weeks after Election Day. Voting irregularities were also uncovered across the state. … Except for overseas and military ballots, mail-in votes must be in the county supervisor of elections office by the time the polls close on Election Day. Mail ballots are also vulnerable to problems with voter identification. More than 3,600 mail-in ballots cast on Nov. 6 were tossed out because of mismatched signatures, according to Florida Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews. That tally does not include some of the state’s largest counties, including Duval and Miami-Dade County.
Even former Congressman Patrick Murphy, who’s leading the transition team for Agriculture Commissioner Candidate Nikki Fried, said Thursday on WLRN that his signature wasn’t verified and he was required to contact the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections to confirm it.
A number of states allow voters days or even weeks to “cure” a mismatched signature on a mail-in ballot. For instance, in Washington voters get 21 days; in California they get 18 days.
In Florida? Voters must cure their ballots one day before the election.
“That is ludicrous,” Soncho says, who added that he encourages early in-person voting over vote-by-mail. Vote-by-mail is “actually diservicing the citizen,” he said. “And deadlines exacerbate that at a tremendous level. I’m not in favor of it.”