Lee County manual recount to vet overvotes and undervotes

Election staffers in Florida are starting to go through the re-sorted ballots yet again, reconciling any discrepancies between overvotes and undervotes.

“The canvassing board would have to meet on this one for voter intent — that’s a little iffy, not real definite,” said Tommy Doyle, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections.

A little “iffy” is exactly what undervotes and overvotes are to the machines that are trying to determine voter choices. Lee County elections officials are now trying to sort through these ballots that are hard to read so they can make sure all votes are counted.

Here is what they are looking for.

An undervote is when a machine cannot determine which candidate gets a vote, maybe because the voter didn’t bubble the oval in at all or left an unreadable mark.

With a machine count, that vote might not originally have been counted, which is why Doyle says a manual recount is so important when a race is this close.

During the state-mandated manual machine recount, they’ll also review overvotes, where someone votes for more than the allowable candidate in a race.

During Lee County’s recount, a coding error led to undetermined ballots not getting flagged so they are re-sorting.

Some voters say they don’t care how long it takes.

“I don’t think the time bothers me, I think the actual counting of the votes is more important than the amount of time it takes,” said John Yeomans of Fort Myers.

They just want it done right.

“Until every votes counted and every person thinks that their vote counts,” said John Devereaux of Naples. “I think that’s what democracy is all about.”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
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