NewsLocal News


Supervisor of Elections reiterates that mail-in voting is safe after woman receives two ballots

Posted at 8:47 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 21:04:21-04

NAPLES — A woman in Naples registered to vote by mail for the first time, but she got a shock when two ballots showed up at her house.

She reached out to Fox 4 to figure out how the mix up happened. Kristin Sampson said the ballots were almost identical, and they were both addressed to her. She brought them both to the Supervisor of Elections to be safe, but she’s worried that situations like this could lead some people to commit election fraud by voting twice.

Sampson said it all started when she sent in two requests for a mail-in ballot.

“I had tried to do it by mail, but I hadn’t, I kept receiving inquiries, so I did it on the computer as well," said Sampson.

This is Sampson’s first year voting by mail, and she was shocked when two ballots showed up at her house.

“I received a ballot in the mail. I went ahead and filled it out and was going to take it to my Supervisor of Election’s office, and then a couple days later I received a second one," said Sampson.

She took a picture of both ballots side by side. She said situations like this could lead to issues.

“It was just really concerning that I could receive two, and what if I had turned them both in?” said Sampson.

“If that person did try to submit that second ballot they requested, it would be flagged as illegal, and then we would end up turning their name over to the State Attorney’s office, because it is illegal to try and vote twice," said Trish Robertson, the public relations officer for the Collier County Supervisor of Elections.

Robertson said there is a specific number on each ballot, located below the bar code. That number was the same on both of Sampson’s ballots.

“The one that matched was her actual voter ID number, and there was a bar code above that, which allows us to actually look up her record," said Robertson.

So Robertson said, there’s no risk that a voter could vote twice without getting caught, but Sampson said, there could be better communication.

“I feel like they should be reaching out to people instead of mailing and giving a second ballot, to make sure they received their first ballot," said Sampson.

If you do receive two ballots for any reason, Robertson said the Supervisor of Elections is asking voters to destroy one of the copies, and submit the other.