FORT MYERS, Fla.- A WINK News exclusive: A Fort Myers voter says his name showed up on the petition to consolidate the Fort Myers Police Department with Lee County Sheriff's Office, but he says he never signed it.
Robert Owens says he was shocked to find out his name was on the petition to get Amendment One on the ballot in Fort Myers. The Amendment would consolidate the police and sheriff's department. He says, "why would I sign something to get rid of the police department when I am part of the system? I've been a captian with neighborhood watch for over 20 years."
"I never signed the petition," he says. When Owens found out that his and other family members' names were on the petition, he went straight to Elections Supervisor Sharon Harrington. "I'm getting kinda angry because she's telling me well, you signed it and I said, well you know ma'am, I didn't sign it."
Harrington says, "there isn't much we can say. The signature does match, it looks exactly like his, unless there is someone out there forging his signature, but we have no way to investigate that. If it looks like what we have on file, we have to put it through."
She says she received seven calls from people who didn't remember signing the petition, but their names showed up. She says in most cases, the person either forgot they had signed it, or didn't realize what they were signing at the time.
As far as the possibility that someone forged Owens' signature, Harrington says, "it would have to be someone very close to him that would know his signature."
The elections office processed 5348 signatures on the petition. It needed 2783 to get on the ballot. 2802 were accepted, meaning about 47% were considered invalid.