Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

His vote won't count



Jeff Lachance thought he was being responsible when he mailed his ballot to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office four weeks ago.

Turns out, he ended up invalidating his vote.

Lachance, a Republican from Pinellas Park, forgot to sign his ballot. A missing signature means the county's canvassing board must automatically reject his ballot, said elections spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock.

Lachance said he received a call Monday from an official from the Republican Party alerting him that his ballot had been rejected because of the missing signature. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been closely monitoring the canvassing board this election.

Lachance showed up at the elections office this morning to demand Elections Supervisor Deborah Clark count his vote.

But the law is straight forward: no voter can cast more than one vote, Whitlock said.

"It is unfortunate that the parties are calling people and giving them the impression that they can fix it," she said. "The vote is considered cast, but not valid."

"That's unacceptable," Lachance said. "I may not mail in a ballot again because what else is screwed up?"

But Lachance, who decided to vote for Barack Obama against party lines, said he isn't too worried.

"It's all right," he said. "I think the guy I voted for is going to win anyway."

Cristina Silva, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:39am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours