Fla. Election Office Robocall Tells Voters They Have Until Wednesday to Cast Ballots

These voters in St. Petersburg, Fla., weren’t tripped up by the message that might have told them they had until “tomorrow” to cast their votes in the election. (Photo: Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)

Thousands of Florida voters might mistakenly think they can cast ballots until Wednesday evening after an elections office accidentally told them so in a robocall issued Tuesday.

The Florida robocall glitch occurred in Pinellas County, location of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. Officials said the calls intended for Monday were wrongly recycled Tuesday, telling possibly thousands of voters they had until “7 p.m. tomorrow” to vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Here’s what happened:

On Monday, election officials sent out a reminder to 27,917 people saying ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. “tomorrow” — or Tuesday. But for reasons unknown, 12,525 of those calls wound up in a queue and were not placed until between 8 and 8:30 a.m. this morning.

By then, “tomorrow,” referred incorrectly to Wednesday.

Nancy Whitlock, spokeswoman for the county’s supervisor of elections, said officials immediately stopped the calls Tuesday morning when the problem was discovered and a second message went out telling voters to disregard the previous call.

Still, more than 12,500 people were called. Of those, the Tampa Bay Times reports only 215 didn’t get the corrected message yet.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist called the situation “unbelievable,” according to the Times.

St. Petersburg resident Kathie Spitzer told the Times that she “couldn’t believe it” when she heard the recorded message this morning. “It was very upsetting.”

Featured image via Shutterstock.com.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.