Election Day Surprise: 'You Already Voted'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacob Roberts headed to the polls Tuesday morning only to be met with an unexpected surprise: He already voted.

“I was told I already voted on October 30,” Roberts tells First Coast News.

The registered Republican assures FCN he did not vote, but he was required to fill out a provisional ballot nonetheless. Provisional ballots may not be counted Election Day. And in this case, says former Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland, it’s possible Roberts’ provisional ballot won’t count at all.

“They have to count the first vote,” says Holland. If the first ballot was cast via early voting, the vote has already been tabulated by the optical scan voting machine, so it’s essentially too late. The vote can’t be undone, and it’s unlikely a canvassing board would accept Roberts’ provisional ballot.

If the vote was cast via absentee ballot, poll workers could pull that ballot to see if the signature matches the one on file for Roberts. It’s possible, Holland says, that elections workers would try to block the absentee vote if the signatures don’t match. If the signatures do match, however, elections officials are obligated to count the first vote, and discard the provisional.

“I’ve seen it happen once or twice,” says Holland. “I’ve had people forget they actually voted.”

Roberts is certain he did not vote. And he’s frustrated to know that his provisional ballot may not count.
It’s alarming,” says Roberts. “Welcome to the world of vote rigging.”

First Coast News has reached out to the elections Canvassing Board, and will continue to track this story. Voters with complaints can call 632-1200.
 

 


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