Absentee ballots are often touted as a pain-free, easy way to cast a vote without having to stand in long lines at a polling station. But nearly 2,500 Miami-Dade County voters had their absentee ballots rejected this election in what amounts to a wake-up call for those who ignore or fall prey to the pitfalls of not voting in person. In Broward and Palm Beach counties, about 2,100 and 1,400 absentees were rejected, respectively. A majority of absentee ballots were rejected because they arrived well after Nov. 6 at the elections office. Many voters were angry. They cast their mail-in ballots from home for convenience, only to face a greater inconvenience when their vote didn’t count.
“I voted absentee because I realized lines in Miami-Dade County would be horrendous and I didn’t feel I wanted to deal with that hassle,” Patricia Tepedino, a 45-year-old Democratic Obama voter, wrote in an email.
Tepedino’s ballot was received Nov. 19. So it didn’t count. And now Tepedino says the experience “kind of does” give her pause about absentee-ballot voting in the future. Others said this was the first and last time they’d vote absentee.
Some voters forgot to sign their ballots. The county elections office negated others because the signature on the ballot didn’t match the voter’s on-file John Hancock.
And four voters appear to have died before their absentee ballots were received at the elections offices in Miami-Dade and Broward, which also cancelled the attempted votes of four convicted felons.