JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- If you've mailed in your absentee ballot, it could get rejected. Voter slip-ups and Hurricane Sandy are interfering with local votes.
"I feel safer that way because I see the ballot go into the machine," said David Porter, a concerned voter.
Porter requested an absentee ballot weeks ago, but he's changed his mind and is voting early in person after his daughter's absentee ballot was rejected in a previous election.
"She said the last one she turned in was rejected because the signature did not match," said Porter.
The Board of Elections compares signatures on the ballots to the ones on file and if they don't match, your vote isn't cast.
"Some of them just don't look anything like it and those are rejected," said Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections for Duval County.
And for voters like Porter, who registered over 30 years ago, today's signature could cost them their vote.
"It's a metamorphosis that signatures go through over time," said Porter, who registered to vote in Florida when he moved here in 1973.
But, that's not the only reason why some mailed in ballots aren't being counted. Over 200 absentee ballots in Duval County have already been rejected. About 100 of those were missing signatures, which means if you don't sign your voter return envelope, your vote doesn't count.
It's a simple mistake and one that could keep happening. Over 90,000 absentee ballots have been mailed out in Duval and already 42,000 have been returned. Compare that to 2008 when 122,000 ballots were sent out and 88,000 were returned.
Early voting numbers are also impressive compared with to 2008. In the first two days of early voting, 38,000 voted in Duval and by this time in 2008, with seven days of early voting, 70,000 had voted.
In such a close election, the Board of Elections is urging voters to closely look at their ballots before returning them. But local residents may not be the only ones affected by ballot mishaps. Absentee ballots coming from the Northeast could be delayed because of Sandy.
"It's going to be critical. There has been no determination if those people should have more time. Those determinations are made on a state by state basis through the Secretary of State here in Tallahassee," said Holland.
Unless the state interferes, any domestic absentee ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day will not be counted.
First Coast News