LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – More than 250 voters living in the city of Largo were sent mail-in ballots without the city commission race printed on them.
According to city officials, numerous neighborhoods in Largo have been annexed, but the information was not updated with Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Largo City Clerk Diane Bruner explained the reporting process. She said that once annexation ordinances are adopted by the Largo City Commission they are recorded in the Official Public Records of Pinellas County and recorded copies are then sent electronically to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
Bruner said the recorded copies were not sent. The Supervisor of Elections office wound up mailing out 252 incorrect ballots. A Largo resident realized that the city commission race between incumbent Curtis A. Holmes and Neil C. McMullen was not listed on the ballot and contacted the city.
Holmes said he learned of the mishap from a voter.
“It’s not comforting. Realistically and also what does this tell the voters,” Holmes said. “For some strange reason, they told everybody but the supervisor of elections office.”
Supervisor of Elections records have now been updated to reflect all of the city’s annexations and replacement mail-in ballots were sent out on October 13th, with a notice informing voters to destroy the previous mail-in ballot. Voters said the oversight could have been detrimental.
“I’m glad that the city recognized that and sent out the correct ones and they’re getting this on board before the general election,” John Bujalski said.
Supervisor of Election representatives say so far, they’ve only received two ballots from the first batch of incorrect mail-in ballots. Those ballots were flagged and voters were sent replacement ballots.
In a statement, Holmes challenger, Neil McMullen wrote.
“Upon learning that two friends who lived in a recently annexed neighborhood did not receive ballots listing the Largo Commission, Seat 3 election, I called Jason Latimer at the SoE’s office. He responded to my inquiry by assuring me that the oversight had been noticed, a remedy devised and that action was already underway. New ballots that included the Largo Commission, Seat 3 election choices were to go out the next day to well over 150 voters. I then called Largo City Clerk’s office to thank them for recognizing their oversight and for seeking to “make things right” in a timely manner.
As Shakespeare’s play is titled: “AlI’s Well That Ends Well.” I am delighted with the Largo Clerk’s office and the Pinellas SoE’s office responsiveness and applaud them for their exemplary efforts to make sure every vote counts!”
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