Redistricting causes some confusion as early voting begins in Palm Beach County

'We get calls from voters confused,' Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sarorty Link says
Early voting in Palm Beach County, Aug. 8, 2022
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 20:16:15-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Voting in person for Florida's primary election began Monday but not without some confusion.

The problems apparently occurred over new district lines that were just put in place a couple of months ago.

Meaning that even if you think you know who your candidates are, you may want to check before arriving at the voting precinct.

SPECIAL SECTION: Voter Information Guide

Hans Klein of Boynton Beach was more than surprised to see a sample ballot in the mail that had him in a different congressional district.

"We knew that we were in Congressional District 21, so the first thing we did is we checked our own cards, and it said yeah we are [in District 21], but this says 22," Klein said pointing to his sample ballot.

Hans Klein, confused Boynton Beach voter
Hans Klein was among the voters confused by that latest redistricting.

New redistricting lines were drawn following the latest Census. It puts people like Klein into new districts.

While it can seem confusing, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said there is no mistake.

"We get calls from voters confused," Sartory Link said. "They think we might have the wrong number down, but we point out, no, the district they're running for is different than the district number they're currently holding."

Sartory Link said that can mean incumbents in one district might be seeking re-election in another district now.

 Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link, Aug. 8, 2022
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link discusses the district changes that are causing confusion for voters.

Her office is also contending with new election laws, which means tighter security and equipment around mail-in ballots as they are opened.

Plus, there are stricter laws regarding security around ballot drop boxes.

One way to make voting easier is a new appointment system for voting to avoid any waiting.

"It's a pilot program that we're doing in this election to see if it's got good response," Sartory Link said. "If it works out well, I think it'll be great for voters in the general [election]."

So far there have been more than 60 people who made appointments Monday. Those appointments can be made online at any of the 21 early voting locations in Palm Beach County.

There are 995,800 registered voters in Palm Beach County as of Aug. 8 with 399,336 registered as Democrats, 286,982 as Republicans and 309,482 with no party affiliation.

WPTV DMA Congressional District Map