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“It’s Legal,” Say Orange County Officials of Partisan Groups Processing Absentee Ballot Requests

Elections officials say it’s legal for a partisan third party to process absentee ballot request forms in Orlando’s non-partisan mayoral race.

Mayoral candidate and republican Paul Paulson has sent out thousands of mailers with absentee ballot request forms addressed to the Republican Voters of Orlando Absentee Ballot Request Group.

The group receives voters’ ballot requests, and sends them to the Orange County of Supervisor of Elections.

Paulson says it’s part of his push to more voters active in the election.

“I don’t know who they are. It appears to be done appropriately. And let’s just leave it at that,” he said in a phone interview.

It’s not uncommon for third parties to collect ballot request forms, according to Orange County voter services supervisor Linda Tanko. But it takes longer for voters to get their absentee ballots with third parties involved, she says.

“When the registration forms come directly to us, of course we can process them faster and get the ballot in the mail faster, but there is nothing that prevents them from doing it the way this campaign has.”

So far, the county has received 18,073 absentee ballot request forms—twice the number for the last mayoral election.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago