(WSVN) - He walked into a Broward precinct during early voting to cast his ballot and then was told, “You already voted today.” Of course, he had not and was not happy his right to vote was being taken from him, which is why he put in a call to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
The right to vote is what separates a democracy from a dictatorship.
Matthew Bryant: “I’ve never missed an election. It’s fundamental to what it means to be an American.”
And last week, Matthew and his wife got in line for early voting, ready to cast their ballots in person.
Matthew Bryant: “My wife and I both felt that voting in person was the best way to ensure that our vote was truly actually counted.”
But when Matthew’s turn came at the Broward precinct, they scanned his driver’s license and told him, “You already voted.”
Matthew Bryant: “‘This can’t be right. I know I didn’t vote yet. What are you talking about?'”
A supervisor came over to confirm that the records showed Matthew had indeed cast his ballot that morning.
Matthew Bryant: “They verified then that Matthew Bryant at 6800 address had, in fact, voted already.”
Matthew was stunned, since state law requires the voter to have a valid ID.
Matthew Bryant: “Apparently, the person that morning must not have had a photo ID. My first question to them is who took away my right to vote?”
A vote Matthew was excited to cast for his candidate.
Matthew Bryant: “I voted for Trump.”
But now Matthew fears he lost his right to cast that ballot.
Matthew Bryant: “Certainly I am personally offended. This is my right. I’m an American citizen, I paid my taxes, you know. I’m a productive member of our society. I need to have a say.”
And if you cannot vote, you don’t have a say, so legally, Howard, what should Matthew do to get that other ballot tossed and his counted?
Howard Finkelstein: “First, Matthew should request what’s called a provisional ballot, which is a regular ballot he fills out that is sealed and put in a special envelope. Then the canvassing board can quickly determine if a crook cast an illegal ballot in Matthew’s name or it was a clerical error that can be easily fixed. Either way, Matthew’s vote will then count.”
Some confusion on evictions. The feds have blocked them if you fill out an affidavit saying you couldn’t pay because of COVID. A lot of viewers are getting served with eviction lawsuits and don’t know what to do with that affidavit.
Howard Finkelstein: “When you get served with the lawsuit, give that affidavit to your landlord. The eviction papers your landlord serves you with will tell you where to respond. Do that quickly and include your affidavit for the judge to read. They will either grant the eviction or allow you to stay in the rental until at least the end of the year.”
A fellow says a customer came into the job and used what turned out to be a bad credit card. His boss is now making him pay back the money that was stolen. Does he have to?
Howard Finkelstein: “Generally speaking, an employer cannot require you to pay back the money that came from a fraudulent credit card. Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you, so you have to decide whether to repay or not.”
Matthew Bryant: “There was another person with the same last name and the exact same date of birth at a different precinct.”
There was nothing criminal in Matthew’s case; it was a clerical error. A poll worker clicked on the wrong name at the polls. Broward corrected it, accepted Matthew’s vote and made him happy.
Matthew Bryant: “The system is trustworthy for in-person voting. Looks like it, yeah. My confidence in voting, in in-person voting, has been restored.”
When you vote in person and there’s a problem, you know right away. If you cast a mail-in ballot, you can go online to see if your vote has been counted, and if not, contact them to see what can be done to correct it.
And if you have a problem, a question you want us to answer, cast your lot with us. We would love to help you out.
Important South Florida election sites:
Miami Dade County
Palm Beach County
Florida Election Information
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