Some early voters at the W.T, Bland Library polling place may have been given the wrong ballots. Yesterday, District 1 voter, Bill Sievert, was not given the ballot for his district which would have denied him the ability to vote for the council member to represent him. Sievert realized the election worker's error and had to make several requests to get the correct ballot.
According to Seivert, the problem arose because the election workers were not aware of different districts or the corresponding ballots and two employees misread the small print on the ballot. It took the resident's dogged determination, plus involvement of three election employees, including a call off-site, and a poll worker's review of Sievert's sample ballot before the proper ballot was issued.
Supervisor of Elections, Imogene Stegall, had not spoken to anyone involved in the incident by this morning, but said poll workers are trained on the different ballots and have them available. She said the poll worker that handed out the incorrect ballot was experienced and had been working at that location since 9 am that morning. Sievert went to the polling place at approximately 1 pm.
"When you go to the bank, don't you check what they gave you?" said Stegall. "You would think the voter would check their ballot."
The unintentional, yet significant, error does not favor one candidate over the other. However, Mount Dora residents learned from a tie vote during the last election season that one vote can affect the outcome.
Stegall said she couldn't determine if this was an isolated incident or if more voters had been affected until she spoke to the parties involved. Residents that cast ballots on Oct. 19 & 20 can call (352) 343-9734 for more information. Meanwhile, voters are encouraged to make certain they are given the proper ballot for their district at every polling place.
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