Florida voters who sent in their ballots from out of the country have expressed growing frustration over ballots that are rejected or in some cases not received at all by their local election's department.
Lutze Segu, who's pursuing a doctoral degree in Canada, has been tracking her ballot since she sent it to the Miami-Dade Elections Department.
Below is her account of trying to make sure her vote gets counted:
When you’re outside of the country, you have to request your paperwork to be able to vote. I did that. I got my ballot and I mailed it off express mail from Canada.
I was able to track it online. It was delivered to the Miami-Dade Elections Department [on] November 5.
I wanted to be able to record that I voted in this election. I wanted to make sure that my vote counted.
You can track online if your ballot has been counted once it’s received. I saw they didn’t count mine yet, so I started calling. The first time, they told me, “We have a lot of ballots like yours, but we haven’t counted them.”
I called back. Another woman told me maybe I sent my ballot to the wrong location, she couldn’t give me any information. I sent it to the right place. Come on y’all, I can read. I’m in graduate school and I got the receipt telling me my ballot was received.
I called twice a day. They kept telling me they couldn’t find it.
If voter suppression can happen face-to-face, there’s no question that it can happen if you’re not there.
The fear is real. The races are so close. We have to count these votes.
I kept thinking that had I not paid express mail with a tracking number these people could have told me anything. Every time I call I get a different person with different information, but no one can tell me if my vote will count.
They didn’t even know where my vote was. I’m obsessively calling, checking online. I’m at the mercy of whoever. They took my name and number and told me a supervisor would call me. No one called, so I just kept calling.
It's been several days. Finally, a woman tells me they did receive my ballot, but it was rejected because of a missing signature.
They said I didn't sign something. I read my form. I signed everything on my sheet, but ok. They said this is an easy fix if I go online and file the missing signature affidavit.
I went online, filed the missing signature affidavit. I faxed it on Friday.
I called them on Monday to confirm. Now, they're saying they can't find my fax even though I have the sent receipt.
I was annoyed before, but now my anger is on level 10. This is disgusting. They're telling people, “Do X, Y,Z,” but they can't manage their process when they do tell you to cure an issue.
What can I do from Vancouver? I'm in Canada.
I followed everything— call this, do this, fax this. I did all of that. Today I was told by a supervisor that they can't find my fax and my vote will not be counted.
I could cry. I could just cry.