FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two more Broward County voters have come forward claiming their mail-in ballots did not include an amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida, hours after a county judge heard arguments regarding the issue.
The first two voters who claimed their mail-in ballots were without Florida Amendment 2 filed a lawsuit against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda C. Snipes. An emergency hearing was held at the Broward County Courthouse, Tuesday morning.
Norm Kent is the attorney who is representing one of the voters, an Oakland Park woman. He asked for a mandatory injunction, which would force judicial oversight on the process.
“We are not prepared to sacrifice a single vote or a single ballot,” said Kent.
One attorney from the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office said there has not been any reason to believe this is a widespread occurrence. “We’ve not been able to find any evidence that this goes beyond these limited number of voters,” said Bernadette Norris-Weekes.
However, since that Tuesday morning hearing, two more voters have come forward claiming Amendment 2 is missing from their mail-in ballots. “This is a copy of a ballot that was received by a gentleman in Plantation,” said attorney Russell Cormican as he showed 7News the copy. “It’s deficient because, if you go to the section that has the constitutional amendments, it does not list Amendment 2. It goes from Amendment 1 on this page, Amendment 3, Amendment 5, and that’s the last of the numbered amendments … so it’s an incomplete ballot.”
Shortly after, Cormican said, he received a second mail-in ballot without Amendment 2. “This particular voter says he called the Supervisor of Elections Office and let them know, and they were very dismissive of him,” said Cormican. “They told him that he must be mistaken, and they have not sent him a replacement ballot as of yet.”
Snipes confirmed at least two mail-in ballots were bad copies without the amendment, but her attorney said only a handful of others may have been sent to voters. “There is no showing in this case that there is irreparable harm,” Norris-Weekes said. “We have two people that we know who have been affected. Those people have gotten replacement ballots.”
Kent has also asked for a proper accounting from the elections office of all absentee ballots. “We’re simply asking that, as the ballots are opened up by mail, that Amendment 2 was, in fact, on it,” said Kent.
Norris-Weekes said Snipes’ office is already looking at all absentee ballots that come in. “There’s been over 50,000 ballots opened and more [Tuesday],” she said.
When the presiding judge asked Norris-Weekes whether they have examined every single absentee ballot they have received, the attorney replied, “They’re going through each and every one of them. Yes. Yes, they are.”
After the two additional voters came forward, Kent and Cormican went back to the same judge asking for another emergency hearing.
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