ORLANDO, Fla. - Amid concerns from voters, Orange County's Supervisor of Elections told Local 6 that less than 2 percent of returned absentee ballots may not be counted because signatures cannot be verified.
As of Wednesday, the county has received about 75,000 ballots, so according to that statistic, 1,500 of those ballots would not count.
However, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles insisted that his office always gives the voter the benefit of the doubt.
"I think every election official and canvassing board wants to work to make sure every eligible vote can be cast,” said Cowles. "And under the new state law we have to compare the signature to the most recent voter registration with a signature on it."
Cowles said if the $300,000 signature verification machine cannot find a match, then staffers examine the ballot. If staffers cannot make a determination, then supervisors at Cowles' office review the ballot. If all else fails, the ballot goes to the canvassing board made up of two judges and a county commissioner. The canvassing board has the final say.
In order to vote in Florida, residents are required to present two pieces of identification showing a picture and a signature. One ID that contains both pieces of information, such as a driver's license, is acceptable...
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