Florida voters who cast their ballots by mail are making mistakes — which may mean their choices in the March 15 presidential primary won’t count. The numbers are small. Of the 580,000 Florida ballots processed as of Friday, about 8,000 weren’t accepted. Polls currently show blowouts in the Democratic and Republican primaries, but if the contests tighten, those uncounted votes could be significant. Statewide, about 99 percent of mail ballots returned as of Friday have been accepted, said Daniel Smith, the University of Florida political scientist who crunched the numbers.
Though the number of mail ballots that go uncounted is relatively small, it’s still much higher than for voters who cast ballots in person at early voting sites or neighborhood polling places on Election Day, Smith said Monday — “at least 10 times more likely” based on his study of the 2012 presidential election.
Smith, an expert in voting, found more of a difference among residents of the three South Florida counties than between the two political parties.