Polk poll workers mistakenly tell voters election ‘not for Democrats’

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Talk about a voting flub, a Polk County couple was nearly turned away when they tried to vote this morning.

“We would have been turned away if we weren’t forceful about it,” said Theresa Wibert, who contacted News Channel 8 about the incident.

When Wilbert showed up to her registered polling location she was handed a ballot with only the names of Republican candidates.

She spoke with two workers at her registered polling location, Precinct 321.  “A woman who was in charge told Wilbert that it was a closed Republican primary and it was not for Democrats,” Wibert told WFLA News Channel 8.

The incident happened as the polls opened on Tuesday morning. A handful of Democratic voters were almost turned away.

“Not one person sitting at that table questioned the fact that there was no Democrat ballots on the table,” said Wibert.

“We pushed it a little further and the lady called a few people. Finally, she looked in the bottom of a closet and found a box with the Democratic ballots. Then they fixed it. So we were able to vote for our candidate”

News Channel 8 reached out to the Polk County Supervisor of Elections to find out what happened.

“The worker was counseled. But, the truth is, no voters were turned away,” said Lori Edwards. “It was a mistake. It was an unfortunate mistake and it got corrected immediately.”

According to Edwards, this has not happened at other locations, to her knowledge. As of now, the incident is still being looked into, but we’re told no one is in any kind of trouble.

Wibert say she still feels uneasy about it. “I think it’s terrible. And I think people that aren’t educated, or don’t know what’s going on, might have just voted for whoever. It’s suspect.”


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