Elections officials told a woman in Miami who moved from a different county that she could not vote. A volunteer with voting rights groups saw a poll watcher at the North Miami Public Library confront people who asked for language assistance. In Hialeah, voters struggled to get translators. Voters elsewhere complain they haven’t received mail-in ballots they requested weeks ago. These were among the 1,700 calls by Florida residents through a national elections hotline — the highest number for any state. As the 2016 presidential race hurtles toward Tuesday’s finish line, complaints handled by the National Election Protection Hotline about early voting and mail ballots provide a possible glimpse of any confusion to come.
Representatives of the voting rights groups that run the hotline spoke with reporters Thursday to detail what they’ve heard. The bulk of the calls have come from South Florida, but the hotline has received calls from 90 voters in Hillsborough County and 70 in Pinellas asking for information about voting.
In some parts of the state, callers have complained that election officials or people monitoring polling places stood in the way of their voting rights, said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“We work to overcome the misinformation that is sometimes imparted by poll workers to ensure that all voters are able to successfully cast a ballot,” Clarke said.