“It’s totally fishy”: residents react to GOP ballot shortage during primary election

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Some Republican voters in Alachua County were forced to choose between waiting on a ballot delivery or skipping the polls.

“I can’t help it, I think it’s totally fishy,” said Ashley Deeb, Gainesville resident.

Deeb isn’t the only person who feels that way after several voting precincts in Alachua County ran out of Republican ballots.

TV 20 asked Supervisor of Elections, Kim Barton, what caused precincts to run low on GOP ballots. She said, “we did have enough ballots to accommodate all voters, but what happened was this particular election brought out more republican voters than usual.”

Poll workers and voters told TV 20 this happened at precincts in High Springs, Newberry and Alachua, but Barton said this was only an issue in High Springs and Newberry.

“We immediately dispatched ballots to those precincts so they would have them right away,” said Barton.

One woman from High Springs said she doesn’t feel it’s a coincidence that the only precincts that ran out of Republican ballots are precincts in the western part of Alachua County.

“It makes me feel like they thought that the Republicans would just turn around and walk away,” said Sylvia Laur.

Her granddaughter was one of the voters at Precinct 20 in High Springs, faced with the decision of waiting to vote or going home.

“She called and said ‘hey I stood outside for over 30 minutes to get in and vote, and then when I got in they had no more Republican ballots.’”

State Senator Keith Perry (R) said these problems are only intensifying the distrust people have in the election system.

“There’s somebody and some person that was the cause of this,” said Perry. “That individual or group of individuals need to be help accountable.”

Barton said moving forward, they will be reviewing all procedures to make sure this does not happen during the general election.

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