(WSVN) - Are you a registered Democrat, Republican or independent? You may think you know, but you might get a surprise and find yourself registered to a different political party. How can it happen? It’s why we have Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Odds are you have heard of them: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And while you may not be paying close attention to their race to become the next president of the United States, many Americans are.
Kevin Wright: “Watch the TV, watch the news. And when you watch that, you can tell it’s going to be a close race.”
And Kevin knows, in a close race, each vote matters.
Kevin Wright: “Feel I have a voice, and select the candidate I want to select.”
This summer, Kevin got a new voter registration card and wanted to make sure everything was correct.
Kevin Wright: “When I looked at it, I noticed that it said that I was registered as a Republican, which I never did.”
Kevin has spent his life as a registered Democrat.
Kevin Wright: “It startled me at first.”
Kevin then went and found his old voter registration card from 2014. At first, he thought it listed him as no party affiliation, since this space was empty, but then between his date of birth and the date issued, he saw the letters “Rep.”
Kevin Wright: “I never would have guessed that ‘Rep.’ stood for Republican, especially where it was.”
That apparently means Kevin had been listed as a Broward Republican since at least 2014.
Kevin Wright: “I could very well have wanted to be a Republican, but at least it should be my decision.”
Kevin was irritated and curious, wondering how a registered Democrat became a registered Republican.
Kevin Wright: “I wanna see how it happened, and then somehow find out why it happened.”
Well, Howard, legally what can Kevin do?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “It’s actually very easy. Your voting records are public records, and you have a right to see them. That’s the good news. The bad news? So does anybody else, and not only can they can see your party affiliation; they can see how often you vote or do not vote.”
We put in a public information request with the Broward Elections Office to see Kevin’s voting information. It showed he did register as a Democrat in 1999, just as he thought.
In 2008, he went in to update his address, and that’s when the party change took place.
After Democrat he checked this box, but that was for Republican. The box before Democrat should have been checked.
Kevin Wright: “If I quickly glance at it and I see a check mark there, it looks like it could be Democrat.”
And because the party affiliation was not easy to spot between the date of birth and the date the card was issued, Broward started spelling out the party affiliation in this space on the voter registration card.
Kevin Wright: “I want to make sure where that box is specifically checked, it’s going to be a Democrat.”
Kevin is headed back to the elections office to change back to a Democrat, and is also ready to head to the polls on Nov. 8.
Kevin Wright: “I’m definitely voting in November.”
Patrick Fraser: “You’re ready to go.”
Kevin Wright: “I’m ready to go. And it’s going to be for…”
Patrick Fraser: “No, don’t tell me!”
Kevin Wright: “Don’t tell you!” (laughs)
Who you vote for is your business. Just make sure you vote in November. You have till Oct. 11 to register to vote. Now we have the links to the elections offices in South Florida where you can register to vote or get any information about your registration records. Also, there is a link to a website where you can type in any Floridian’s name to see which elections they voted in and which they did not. It’s all public record, so don’t be upset to see your name and voting history there.
Think you are a candidate for assistance? Need to register your complaint? Elect to call us. Our vote will be unanimous: We will help you.
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