'Disturbed': Why some voters are finding a key part of Florida’s primary ballot 'confusing'
On Tuesday, August 23, Florida will hold its Democratic and Republican primary elections — including the Democratic gubernatorial primary, which will determine who goes up against Gov. Ron DeSantis in the general election. Mail-in ballots are already being sent out, and according to Palm Beach Post reporters Stephany Matat and Antonio Fins, some voters in Palm Beach County are finding one part of the ballots confusing.
“This past weekend, voter Sharon Reuben from suburban Boynton Beach opened her mail-in ballot for the August 23 primary and said she was ‘confused’ by the way the choice for governor was worded,” Matat and Fins report in an article published on July 25. “The ballot, she noted, clearly stated ‘Governor and Lieutenant Governor’ and instructed to ‘Vote for One.’ Four names followed: Charlie Crist, Cadance Daniel, Nicole ‘Nikki’ Fried and Robert L. Willis. Reuben said she is familiar with Crist and Fried, so she Googled Daniel and Willis, and learned both were also running for governor as Democrats.”
Reuben told the Post, “So, all four names are for governor, which begged the question: Where are the names for lieutenant governor? How do you vote for that?”
The Post discussed that wording with Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Link, who said the wording is required under Florida state law.
“That's the case even though the four gubernatorial candidates have not chosen to have a lieutenant governor listed, which is why only the governor candidates are listed,” Matat and Fins explain. “Voters are to pick only one candidate in the Democratic governor's race. If a voter chooses two names, the ballot would be put under review to determine whether it was a mistake by an accidental mark or if it was intentional, Link said. The ballot would not be fully thrown out, only the vote for that particular race, (Link) said.”
William J. Schwarze, a voter in Brevard County, Florida, also found the ballot confusing and told the Post he was “disturbed” to see the ballot listing the positions of governor and lieutenant governor, but with instructions for voting for only one of them.
Schwarze told the Post, “You can bet your bottom dollar that some people will interpret that to mean that they need to vote for two people, a governor and a lieutenant governor.”
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