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Computer error confusing voters in Palm Beach County

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 19:04:11-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A computer error is causing confusion in Palm Beach County, just five days before the primary election.

Some voters are receiving letters telling them they won’t be able to vote come Tuesday because they missed an important deadline.
Nicole Grabowski has voted in every single election since she was 18, but on Wednesday she opened a letter from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

"It said that I will not be able to vote in the primaries,” said Grabowski, who lives in Lake Worth. 

Under Florida law, a change to your party affiliation must be done within 29 days of the election. The deadline for the primary was July 30. Grabowski insists she made the change on time.

“So I gave a call to the supervisor’s office because obviously, I want to vote in the primaries, and they told me it's an error," she said.

It turns out, Grabowski is not the only one to get the letter in the mail by mistake.

The letter reads in part, "Since the registration books closed for the 2018 primary on July 30th, you may not use your new party affiliation while voting, until the November 6th general election. Voters may vote for candidates of all political parties regardless of party affiliation in the November 6th general election.”

A number of people received the letter, including Robert Parish, who’s spent hours researching the candidates.

"The concern there is, how many people got this letter, and is it really legit?" asked Parish, who also changed his party before the July 30th deadline.

On Thursday, the supervisor of elections told WPTV a list of people who missed the deadline was auto-generated in the computer, and a number of voters received the letter by mistake. WPTV asked how many registered voters received the letter by mistake, but the supervisor could not provide us with a number.

Grabowski is concerned for people who read the letter and think they cannot go to the polls on Tuesday. She also fears it could impact voter turnout.

“If there are people out there who got this letter I want them to know they should call, they should show up and they should tell other people," Grabowski said.

The supervisor said anyone who received the letter can call 561-656-6200 with any questions.