Polk County polling clerk fired for issue at polls

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) –  A Polk County Polling Clerk has been fired after an issue at the polls Tuesday morning.

According to Supervisor of Elections Community Services Director P.J. Leiva, A voter went to Precinct 216, located on South Lakeside Avenue, looking to vote Independent.

The voter was told she couldn’t vote because she was independent, and they didn’t have the correct ballots. After an argument, and a search, the voter was given the correct ballot and she was able to vote.

The worker, who we’re told has been employed for a number of years, was fired shortly after an incident.

Back in March, a similar incident happened, when a Polk County couple was nearly turned away when they tried to vote.

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

“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”

At that time, Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards said “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.”

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