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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

National voting rights coalition raises concern about voting in Hillsborough County



During a midday news conference, a national coalition of voting rights groups raised a concern about voting in Hillsborough County.

Specifically, the group said, an unspecified number of Hillsborough voters who showed up at what they believed to be their correct polling places on Tuesday reportedly were directed to other polling sites.

"In Tampa, Florida, a lot of polling places that are open are redirecting voters to another precinct and having them vote a provisional ballot," said Barbara Arnwine of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

"Remember the law in Florida," Arnwine said during a teleconferenced news briefing held by the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition. "Florida is a correct precinct voting state. So when you're sent to a wrong precinct to vote and vote a provisional ballot, there's a huge problem about whether or not it will be counted. And here it's not the voters' error. It's an administrative decision of the poll workers at polling places to send them to the wrong precinct. We're very worried."

But Arnwine said she did not have a list of which of Hillsborough County's 300-plus polling places had produced reports of voters being redirected.

Without that information, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Office spokesman Travis Abercrombie said he couldn't address the concern.

"This is the first I'm hearing of that," he said.

Continuously updated roundup of election day news here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:40pm]


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