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November 18, 2018

Florida teacher found locked ballot box left behind at polling location

November 9, 2018
Several Florida elections could go down to recounts. (FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP/Getty Images)

A Florida teacher accidentally stumbled upon a locked box of ballots two days after Tuesday’s elections — and no one knows if the ballots were used.

Lakeisha Sorey, a teacher at Sunshine Elementary School in Miramar, told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that she found the gray bin, marked “Provisional Ballot Box,” Thursday in the same area where voters lined up two days earlier to cast their votes. Provisional ballots are used in questions of a voter’s eligibility, including a lack of photo identification where required or incorrect information is provided on the registration.

“I didn’t want to touch it,” Sorey said.

So she called her friend, State Rep. Shevrin Jones, for advice. Jones, in turn, called the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office, where a woman told him the ballots were probably blank, despite the box being locked.

“I was shocked about it,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t think you’d lock up extra ballot paper. I’m hoping someone will at least go verify and make sure there are no ballots inside the box.”

A few ballots could go a long way in Florida, where the races for both governor and Senate are fast approaching recount territory.

As of Thursday evening, Republican Ron DeSantis led Democrat Andrew Gillum by barely 36,000 votes as both vie for the governor’s office, while Democrat Bill Nelson trails in the Senate race against former Gov. Rick Scott by about 15,000 votes.

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