Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office loses power, endures other election day problems

6:46 PM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. -- A number of small problems could amount to big headaches in Hillsborough County, according to non-partisan election watchdog group "Election Protection."

The most recent problem was a TECO power outage along Faulkenberg Road affecting 600 customers, including the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office. That's where all of the county's votes go to be tabulated.

A TECO spokeswoman told 10 News that power was restored to the elections office at about 4:30 p.m.  But earlier in the day, the Hillsborough Supervisor of Election's office had to deal with phone outages too.

CLICK: Tampa Electric Outage Map

Other reported problems in Hillsborough include malfunctioning optical scanners, but after morning re-boots, all appeared to be functioning again.  No ballots were expected to be compromised, according to the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office.

However, there was concern at least several dozen morning voters were unintentionally directed to the wrong precinct.  Many of the reports came to 10 News and Election Protection from precincts 581 & 582 in the Lutz/New Tampa area.

If a voter casts a provisional ballot in the wrong precinct, it will not count.

Additionally, Election Protection received reports of numerous poll workers incorrectly handing out provisional ballots to voters looking to update their addresses at their new polling place.  However, for anyone who has moved within the county, they should have been allowed to update the address and vote on a standard ballot.  Election Protection did not believe the mistakes were intentional.

Election Protection is a coalition of lawyers and other watchdogs from around the country who have traveled to swing states to preserve the integrity of the vote.  The group has approximately 60 lawyers stationed across Hillsborough County, 10 in Pinellas County, and another 350 or so in other key areas across the state.

Previous #ProtectYourVote coverage:
11/5/12 -
Top myths about Florida's polling places
11/3/12 - Lawmaker responds to upset servicemembers who can't vote
11/3/12 - Lawmaker responds to upset servicemembers who can't vote
11/2/12 - Servicemembers upset about being removed from voting rolls
10/31/12 - More mailer publicizing your voting history
10/31/12 - Group exposing your voting history to your neighbors...legally
10/30/12 - Some voters didn't know their precinct changed
10/29/12 - Voting problems? 10 News will investigate
10/26/12 - Are 11 ballot amendments intentionally confusing?
10/24/12 - FBI investigating phony letters to Fla. Republicans
10/23/12 - Fla. Division of Elections warns about phony letters
10/11/12 - Obama campaign illicitly in Pasco schools?
10/3/12 - RPOF vendor investigated for fake registrations
10/2/12 - Supervisor warns of misleading robocalls
4/23/11 - Critics claim new voting bill will suppress voters

Find 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter. Send your story tips to noah@wtsp.com.

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