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Florida Elections Redux

60,000 mailed ballots missing, Broward elections office says

JEAN-PAUL RENAUD

Knight Ridder Tribune News Service


FORT LAUDERDALE - The Broward County Supervisor of Elections office on
Tuesday said it couldn't account for nearly 60,000 missing absentee ballots
sent to voters and that its phone lines were being overwhelmed by calls.

Hoping to avoid another embarrassing election, Broward County commissioners
Tuesday offered to send county employees to help. Dozens of county employees
could begin assisting the elections office as early as today to answer
telephone calls and to process voters at the 14 early voting sites.

"What we are seeing is unprecedented so if the supervisor of elections needs
our help, we will help," county mayor Ilene Lieberman said.

Just six days away from the general election, the Supervisor of Elections
office has fielded hundreds of complaints from people who have yet to
receive their absentee ballot. Countless more have been unable to get
through to election officials to complain or get their questions answered.

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On a local note, Jim and I requested absentee ballots on Friday. We
received them in the mail on Monday. He had carried ours back on Tuesday
and the early-voting line was down the stairs (3 floors) and out into the
parking lot for early voting. Since he was handing in absentee ballots he
was able to walk in, hand them to the clerk and leave in a matter of
minutes. Folks in line reported to him a 2-3 hour wait.

We have only two locations for the entire county available, one North
County, one South County.

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