Published: Aug 17, 2010 3:56 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 17, 2010 12:56 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Rick Scott's campaign is offering to help after an envelope error sends absentee ballots back to some Lee County voters.  Election officials, however, are worried it's only adding to the confusion.

The Scott campaign says it sent postage-paid envelopes to absentee voters after a problem was revealed last week with barcodes on Lee County's official absentee envelopes.  Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington says that problem has been resolved, with post offices manually sorting absentee mailings.

The Rick Scott envelopes would get sent to the elections office (despite spelling "Fort Myers" as "Fort Meyers") but Harrington says a bigger problem could leave the vote uncounted.

"On the back of our envelope, there is a voter certificate, that the voter has to sign," Harrington said.  "If we don't have the signature, we can't verify it.  If we can't verify it, we can't count it."

A letter with the Rick Scott envelopes recommends voters mail the completed official envelope inside theirs;  though Harrington worries some voters may not.

"We are so concerned they will not do that because, free postage, they may just slip their ballot in there in haste," Harrington said.

Harrington adds the Scott envelopes do not appear to be campaign material, but she says it is open to question whether any election laws were violated.

The Scott campaign tells WINK News their envelope mailings were following Harrington's earlier recommendations that voters return their absentee ballots in larger envelopes.