Woman unable to vote after DMV mistake

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 19:00:03-04

ESTERO, Fla. -- A Southwest Florida woman says she's unable to vote, Monday, because her registration somehow didn't go through when she applied at the DMV.

Andrea Donatelli did not know she wasn't registered until a poll worker turned her away at her early voting location. "It makes me feel sick. When he said it, my tummy dropped and I felt ill because this is so important to me and my daughters, this election," she said.

According to Donatelli, election officials told her she isn't the first one with this issue. "They said 'oh yeah, that seems to be happening a lot. A lot of people have said the DMV hasn't put in their registration," she said. "I just wonder how many votes is the election, at least in Florida, is going to be won by and Florida is such a key state."

It's unclear how Donatelli's information got lost. When Fox 4 reached out to the DMV, they said when you apply to register to vote with them, your information is sent to Tallahassee electronically, where they register you and then forward it to local elections offices. 

The Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office confirms that the situation certainly does happen, saying they had two voters with the same issue in recent months. Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said there may be hope for those who encounter the problem, as long as they have their receipt with proof they applied for voter registration. "They do get a receipt showing that they were in fact registered," Harrington said. "You could bring that back to us at any time and we go back to the date it was actually entered."

However, Andrea does not have that record, and wishes someone would have warned her to keep it if they knew about the problem. Now, she says she will have to find another way to voice her vote. "I have very little time between work and home being a single mom," she said. "But whatever little time I have, I'm going to go online or go to rallies and stuff and try to support my candidate that way."