In heavily Republican Bay County, election supervisor Mark Andersen acknowledged Monday that he had allowed some voters to cast their ballots over email, which is not allowed under state law.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) – Election officials in a Florida county battered by Hurricane Michael last month allowed about 150 displaced voters to cast ballots by email, even though it’s not allowed under state law.
The Miami Herald reports that Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen defended that decision Monday.
Andersen told the newspaper that parts of the county remained shut off by law enforcement, preventing people from reaching their homes. The displaced voters were allowed to scan and email their ballots to the elections office. Andersen said all the ballots were verified by signature.
Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle Oct. 10 as a devastating Category 4 storm. On Oct. 18, Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order extending early voting and designating more voting locations in the eight counties, including Bay. A statement that accompanied the order specifically prohibited votes being returned by email or fax.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has expressed outrage that some voters in hurricane-ravaged Bay County had been allowed to vote by email against state rules.
Gillum spoke Monday evening at an African-American church in Boynton Beach.