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Elections chief still not talking about misleading robocall | News

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Elections chief still not talking about misleading robocall

Largo, Florida -- As workers tallied up some of Florida's last uncounted ballots Wednesday, Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark was at her post.

She was overseeing the processing of more than 9,000 absentee ballots handed in before the Tuesday, 7 o'clock deadline.

This work is why a spokeswoman said for a second day, Clark would not agree to talk with us at 10 News.

We still want to ask her about the automated robocall that an elections office computer program accidentally sent out on Election Day.

It lasts just longer than 20 seconds and begins, "This is from your Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections."

The message reached some portion of a list of 12,000 Pinellas voters with mail-in-ballots.

It told them, "If you want to vote and return your mail ballot, please take it to any ballot drop off site by 7 p.m. tomorrow."

But this call came on Tuesday. So "tomorrow" would have meant Wednesday. That would be too late to hand in a ballot.

The call gave bad information; any ballot handed in Wednesday would not count.

A second call was sent out with the right information, but it's not clear which voters heard both messages.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn tweeted that voters should fire Clark and he told 10 News this was incompetence.

It is the Election Day error with the largest potential number of voters impacted that we have learned about in the Tampa Bay area through our #ProtectYourVote campaign to investigate polling problems.

Again, Clark would not agree to talk with us. We did ask elections office spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock whether changes were coming.

"We haven't decided if we're going to use this program again or not," Whitlock said. "We'll be very careful with the wording and make sure we use an actual date in the script."

Whitlock said that as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, no one has contacted or come to an elections office asking to turn in a ballot a day late.


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