VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- For the first time ever, Volusia County is having a mail-in only election.
- Volusia County residents receiving extra mail-in ballots
- Some say the ballots don't belong to them
- Supervisor of Elections is aware of the issue
It’s all to decide on the potential half cent sales tax. While voting by mail is supposed to save the county around $80,000, it's not without its problems.
Some voters, like Jeff Brower, are finding ballots in the mail that don’t belong to them.
"The others ballots were for our daughter that hasn’t lived here in 8 years, she moved the day she got married unfortunately," Brower said. "And then for her mother in law, who was a close family friend who hasn't lived here in 10 years, and never lived in our home and she's been deceased for almost 5 years."
While Brower says he trusts the elections staff, he’s concerned about potential voter fraud.
"If somebody kind of wants to hedge their bet on what will probably be a very close election, having all of these ballots floating around that don't really belong to anybody, it's concerning," he said.
The Volusia County Supervisor of Elections is aware of the problem and says she's heard of about 12 cases of the same thing.
"It gives a little bit of distrust in the process and that is what upsets me," Lisa Lewis said. "You know we work hard here to maintain the integrity and the security of any election and then when something like this happens it puts more questions in people’s minds because we had mailed them out."
Lewis said it’s a hard problem for the elections staff to avoid because of how they update their voter registration rolls.
"Every other year we do what we call list maintenance, we mail out correspondence to every registered voter or at least those who had not voted in the previous general election to try to get some updated information and if we don’t hear anything back, no mail comes back to us, then we can only assume that that voter is still there," Lewis said.
They’ll be paying close attention to the signature on each ballot, which is their only way of making sure each vote is legitimate.
"There is always that possibility that you get somebody that is nefarious out there, wanting to do bad, but they would have to truly know the signature of that voter with what we have on file," Lewis said.
But they're hoping that those with ballots that don’t belong to them come forward and return them.
"It's our responsibility as a public to keep our elections clean and honest as well," Brower said.
If you get a ballot that does not belong to you— you should write "not at this address" and mail it back to the supervisor of elections.
If there is any problem with the signature on your ballot, the supervisor of elections says you will be notified with enough time to fix the problem and have your vote counted.