Daytona Beach, FL – A ballot mix-up brings controversy to a Daytona Beach City Commission race.
Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis apologizes for what she called “human error” after 10 voters in a Zone 1 precinct were given the wrong ballots during Primary Election Day on Tuesday.
“It is very unfortunate this has happened and I am truly sorry for all candidates affected by this,” Lewis said.
The ballots those voters got didn’t have the Zone 1 race on them, not allowing those voters the chance to choose between the five people on the ballot. Instead, they were handed ballots for Zone 4 voters, a seat which wasn’t up for election during Tuesday’s primary.
All the affected voters were at Precinct 633, better known as the Church of Christ on Beville Road. The precinct roughly covers an area north of Beville between Daytona Beach International Airport and the Halifax River.
The top two finishers in Zone 1 – incumbent Ruth Trager and Danny Fuqua – are heading to a run-off in November after Fuqua beat out third-place Anne Ruby by 16 votes.
Lewis says there were fears initially that 130 people were given the wrong ballot by poll workers on Tuesday, but her office later determined it was only 10.
“In balancing the precinct [vote counts] this afternoon, the difference of voter check-in versus ballots given is 10,” Lewis noted in an email sent to Ruby and Daytona Beach city commissioners. “When I gave the 130 figure, it was based on the number of voters checked in for Precinct 633 between 7 (a.m.) – 10:30 a.m.”
Poll workers discovered 10 extra filled-in ballots later on inside the results for Precinct 641, which also votes at Church of Christ. Lewis said the error occurred because the precinct clerk didn’t verify the ballots before handing them out to voters.
“I have spoken with the clerk of the polling location and she takes ownership of this unfortunate event and apologizes profusely, as do I,” Lewis stated.
Since all the ballots have been cast, those who were given the wrong ballot cannot hand in a new one at this point, according to Lewis.
Zone 1 (map below) sits along the border of Daytona Beach and South Daytona on the mainland and Daytona Beach Shores on the beachside. It covers everything on Daytona’s beachside south of Silver Beach Avenue and a large chunk of the mainland neighborhoods which straddle Beville Road between the Halifax River to just past Clyde Morris Boulevard.
Provisional ballots will be counted on Thursday before Tuesday’s results are officially certified in Volusia.