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Misleading, unofficial mailer causes voter confusion in Martin County

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Misleading, unofficial mailer causes voter confusion in Martin County

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A warning that was posted to the Martin County Supervisor of Elections Facebook page has revealed a possible ballot scam, according to election officials.

In a post on Oct. 16, election officials said many voters have received misleading mail that led voters in Martin County to believe their completed ballots were not received.

"A mailing went out recently that really upsets voters because it said public records indicated that their voting ballot had not been received when in fact he have received it," said Vicki Davis, Supervisor of Elections in Martin County.

The Facebook post stated:

The old, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck" adage doesn't necessarily apply to political mail, no matter how official it might look. Many voters received mailers from a political party describing their vote-by-mail ballots as "not returned," even though they had already turned them in. Vicki Davis reminds everyone that the Elections Office will never send you such correspondence. Check the disclaimer so you know where it came from.

Davis, who would not say what organization is responsible or show what that bogus ballot document looks like, is now busy troubleshooting.

"Whenever they [political mailers in question] hit the mailboxes, our calls increased," she said. "Many of those voters are confused because they know they mailed the ballot in or personally dropped it off."

READ MORE: State requests extra security for mail-in ballot drop boxes

Now, election officials are dealing with the influx of concerned callers and foot traffic.

With all of the confusion, Davis said a record-number of voters are hand-delivering their ballots to make sure their votes get into the right hands.

"I have heard of some of the voter fraud going around," said Anne of Stuart. "Voting in person gives that sense of security. For me it’s a personal thing that I wanted to come down and actually do it in person. I want my voice to be heard."

Election officials said once ballots are received in Martin County, they are closely guarded at this office in Stuart at all times.

"The ballots are placed in a secure location here in the office," Davis said. "Our voters need to be aware and need to make sure that what they are receiving and responding to is an official piece of mail."

The Supervisor of Elections is urging voters to sign-up for a free ballot tracking service that sends voters a text or email alert when their vote-by-mail ballot arrives at the Elections Center, when it's accepted, and even notifies voters if it's undeliverable, or has a mismatched or different signature than the one we have on-file.

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