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1256571 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-15 21:48:08.0 UTC 2012-10-15T17:48:08.000-04:00 a-case-of-the-mysterious-year-old-ballot Published 2012-10-16 01:22:58.0 UTC 2012-10-15T21:22:58.000-04:00 news/politics/elections DTI 98400105 Forgive a Florida voter for being circumspect about mail ballots these days. Especially John Loftus of St. Petersburg, who planted a pro-Obama sign in his yard, stuck a pro-Obama sticker on his car, and patiently waited for his mail ballot to arrive. Arrive it did, but without any of the presidential candidates listed. In what appears to be a bizarre accident, Loftus opened his mail last week to find a one-page ballot for the Nov. 8, 2011, municipal election. The ballot he requested for this year's general election never came. "This state is hilarious," Loftus said. Loftus, 62, a former Justice Department prosecutor who accused the Bush administration of covering up the discovery of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, is no stranger to conspiracy theories. But after considering the possibility that the ballot was forged in an attempt to suppress his Democratic vote, he decided it was likely human error. An employee at the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office convinced him it was probably a Post Office mistake. "If this is intentional, it's so clever. There has to be some logical explanation," he said on Monday, contemplating the possibility that his ballot gathered dust for a year before someone sent it out in lieu of the general election ballot. "There's just no way something from a previous election would slip in there," said Nancy Whitlock, a spokeswoman for the county Supervisor of Elections. Unused ballots from local elections are sent back to the city, she said, and there have been no other reports of residents receiving the wrong ballot. Loftus urged vigilance. "People need to know to open their absentee ballots right now to see what's inside," he said. Anna M. Phillips can be reached at aphillips@tampabay.com or 727-893-8779. By Anna M. Phillips, Times Staff Writer News,Politics,Pinellas,breaking-news,Elections & Campaigns A case of the mysterious, year-old ballot APHILLIPSN 4STB Main dhvns6epb07r dhvns Man's mail ballot provides intrigue: It's a year old Pinellas 3 OldBallot101612.4st Man's mail ballot provides intrigue: It's a year old 2012-10-16 04:00:00.0 UTC 2012-10-16T00:00:00.000-04:00 false templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2012/10/15/98400105-a-case-of-the-mysterious-year-old-ballot StaffArticle 2012-11-21 04:54:37.0 UTC 2012-11-20T23:54:37.000-05:00 news,politicsPoliticsnews,politics,elections & campaignsElections & CampaignsForgive a Florida voter for being circumspect about mail ballots these days.News,Politics,Pinellas,breaking-news,Elections & CampaignsNews,Politics,Pinellas,breaking-news,Elections & CampaignsAnna M. Phillips 1258304 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-01-08 19:45:12.0 UTC 2013-01-08T14:45:12.000-05:00 anna-m-phillips published Anna M. Phillips <p>Anna M. Phillips writes about legal affairs and criminal justice in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Before joining the <i>Times</i> in 2012, she covered the New York City public schools for the <i>New York Times</i> and for the education news website Chalkbeat New York (formerly GothamSchools).</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 93488174 Anna M. Phillips writes about legal affairs and criminal justice in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Before joining the Times in 2012, she covered the New York City public schools for the New York Times and for the education news website Chalkbeat New York (formerly GothamSchools). <p>Phone: (813) 226-3354</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:aphillips@tampabay.com ">aphillips@tampabay.com</a></p><p>Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/annamphillips">@annamphillips</a><br /><br /></p> 1 /resources/images/dti/2013/09/0431876097_11486326.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/93488174-anna-m-phillips AuthorProfile 2013-01-08 19:45:12.0 UTC 2013-01-08T14:45:12.000-05:00 <span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">ANNA M. PHILLIPS</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Staff Writer 2283077 2016-06-25 13:00:00.0 UTC 2 Months Ago in-year-of-political-turmoil-florida-candidates-stampede-to-ballot news/politics/stateroundup In year of political turmoil, Florida candidates stampede to ballot StaffArticle 2267919 2016-03-04 12:17:38.0 UTC 6 Months Ago are-marco-rubio-and-ted-cruz-natural-born-citizens-broward-judge-to-hear news/politics/elections Judge tosses case seeking to remove Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz from Florida ballot StaffArticle 2262471 2016-01-22 22:53:15.0 UTC 7 Months Ago florida-leads-us-in-new-hiv-cases-after-years-of-cuts-in-public-health news/politics/stateroundup Florida leads U.S. in new HIV cases after years of cuts in public health StaffArticle <p>Forgive a Florida voter for being circumspect about mail ballots these days.</p> <p>Especially John Loftus of St. Petersburg, who planted a pro-Obama sign in his yard, stuck a pro-Obama sticker on his car, and patiently waited for his mail ballot to arrive. Arrive it did, but without any of the presidential candidates listed.</p> <p>In what appears to be a bizarre accident, Loftus opened his mail last week to find a one-page ballot for the Nov. 8, 2011, municipal election. The ballot he requested for this year's general election never came.</p> <p>&quot;This state is hilarious,&quot; Loftus said.</p> <p>Loftus, 62, a former Justice Department prosecutor who accused the Bush administration of covering up the discovery of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, is no stranger to conspiracy theories. But after considering the possibility that the ballot was forged in an attempt to suppress his Democratic vote, he decided it was likely human error.</p> <p>An employee at the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office convinced him it was probably a Post Office mistake.</p> <p>&quot;If this is intentional, it's so clever. There has to be some logical explanation,&quot; he said on Monday, contemplating the possibility that his ballot gathered dust for a year before someone sent it out in lieu of the general election ballot.</p> <p>&quot;There's just no way something from a previous election would slip in there,&quot; said Nancy Whitlock, a spokeswoman for the county Supervisor of Elections. Unused ballots from local elections are sent back to the city, she said, and there have been no other reports of residents receiving the wrong ballot.</p> <p>Loftus urged vigilance. &quot;People need to know to open their absentee ballots right now to see what's inside,&quot; he said.</p> <p><i>Anna M. Phillips can be reached at aphillips@tampabay.com or 727-893-8779.</i></p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:52:52