Fuming Broward voters — Republicans and Democrats alike — are complaining that they were shut out of the high-stakes presidential election. They say their mail-in ballots never arrived. “We’re unhappy. It’s a right given to Americans, and we’ve been shut out from that right. I’m kind of ticked off at that,” said Vito Leccese, 84, a New Jersey snowbird who spends six months a year in Pompano Beach. “This is a presidential election. This is very important. It’s so important that they’re rioting all over the place because Trump won.” Leccese said he had requested mail-in ballots by phone from the Broward supervisor’s office with no hiccups in the past. This election, after making his initial ballot requests long before the Nov. 2 deadline, Leccese said he began making follow-up calls Oct. 3 to the supervisor’s office. He said they went unanswered.
As October neared its end, Leccese turned to his son, who made an online request for ballots for his parents. Still, no ballots ever showed up. Election Day came and went. “When you call you always get the automated voice. I left all the information on the automated voice four times, and nothing,” said Leccese, a registered Republican. “There’s got to be a glitch. If you don’t get the ballots that means there’s a kink in the system that they’re not responding to, or they’re not listening to the phone calls, or looking at the internet to see who’s making requests.”
Despite numerous requests for a post-Election-Day interview, Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes was unavailable to address voters’ concerns for this article.
Precisely how widespread of a mail-in ballot problem, if one occurred, is difficult to gauge. The elections office does not track how many people failed to get ballots — only how many went out and how many were returned — but Laccese’s experience is not isolated.