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Broward Finds Nearly 1,000 Ballots Days After Election

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Voting machines in Florida (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Voting machines in Florida (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

David-Sutta-600x450 David Sutta
David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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campaign 2012 new2 Broward Finds Nearly 1,000 Ballots Days After Election

BROWARD COUNTY (CBSMiami) – Florida’s fiasco on Election Day is getting worse. Broward elections workers Monday said they found 963 unaccounted-for ballots a week after the election was over.

Members of the Broward County Canvassing Board were told the ballots were put in the wrong place.  Election department workers spent the day counting them and adding their results to the final totals.

“I’ve been here for three days,” said Dania Beach Commission candidate Chickie Brandimarte.

Brandimarte just wants to take her seat on the commission.  She started the day up 16 votes, by mid-afternoon she was up by 36 votes.

“I like to vote but I don’t like to see behind the scenes,” said Brandimarte.  “I just want to know that the vote went in the machine.  I don’t care where it went. But now I’m learning where it goes and it’s very frustrating.”

The 963 ballots were found in various parts of their Lauderhill warehouse.

“Everythng that we added was here,” said Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes. “We didn’t go on I-95 and find a ballot bin on the side of the road.  We really didn’t.  Everything was here.”

Snipes added that it is not unusual for ballots to be misplaced.

“I told my staff to go around into their designated areas and look for anything that may be a ballot that we overlooked and that’s what happened,” said Snipes.

Snipes said that it is customary for more votes to be added to the totals until the Nov. 18th final certification.  Snipes said the ballots they found were never unaccounted for.

“They were not missing,” said Snipes.

“That’s not what they said the other day,” said Brandimarte.  “The said they found 995. So I don’t know. Politics. I don’t know.”

Election officials in Broward said the ballots were found during a routine sweep and the vote counts have been amended.

Snipes said when ballots and the accompanying computer jump drives are found, her staff checks the precinct number on the ballots and checks to see if the tabulated votes there match the number of voters who checked in to vote. If not, the ballots are tabulated.

Of the 963 previously uncounted ballots, 798 were from Election Day, and 165 were absentee ballots, according to the Elections Office data.

As it stands now, outside of overseas military votes, Broward does not expect any more votes to suddenly appear.

“No, no, no,” said Brandimarte when she found out the latest numbers, “Giving birth was a picnic compared to this.”

Dania Beach can expect to see more of Chickie Brandimarte – she’s their new commissioner.

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