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Humidity blamed as some voters in Polk find ballot-return envelopes sealed

As of Friday, the elections office had received about 60 calls or emails from voters reporting the issue, Elections Supervisor Lori Edwards said.
Some of the mail in ballots sent to voters, like these received at the Polk County Supervisor of Elections Office, arrived with the return envelope already sealed.
Some of the mail in ballots sent to voters, like these received at the Polk County Supervisor of Elections Office, arrived with the return envelope already sealed. [ PIERRE DUCHARME | Lakeland Ledger ]
Published Oct. 13, 2020

LAKELAND — The Polk County Supervisor of Elections Office has begun sending out roughly 142,000 vote-by-mail ballots for the general election, and some voters have reported a concern.

The problem: The envelope provided for returning the ballot was already sealed, preventing them from inserting their ballots. As of Friday, the elections office had received about 60 calls or emails from voters reporting the issue, Elections Supervisor Lori Edwards said.

Edwards blamed the phenomenon on Central Florida’s hot and humid climate, which can cause the adhesive material on an envelope flap to moisten so that it becomes stuck to the body of the envelope.

“I think it was unfortunate timing when we had that rainy weather for a few days in a row right when the ballots went out, and Florida moisture took its toll,” Edwards said.

- Gary White

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