Some Gainesville Voters Receive Incorrect County Ballots


Mike Ryan Simonovich’s ballot could have been voided if he hadn’t noticed the ballot was missing the city referendums.

Ryan Simonovich, who lives in Gainesville, received the county ballot instead of the city ballot when he went to vote this morning at the Thelma Bolton Activity Center, Alachua County Precinct 27. He waited 45 minutes to receive the correct ballot.

Mike Ryan Simonovich (right) talking to local voter Jason Davis (left) at Thelma Bolton Activity Center precinct 27 about receiving the wrong ballot Tuesday morning, Nov. 6. (Jillian Chabot/WUFT News)

According to TJ Pyche, Director of Outreach for Alachua County Supervisor of Elections, at least three voters had submitted the wrong ballot before the issue was corrected.

Ryan Simonovich said that even though election officials resolved the issue, he now doubts the outcome of the election.

“It’s really disappointing,” he said.

Ryan Simonovich stood outside of the precinct 27 located at Thelma Boltin Activity Center in downtown Gainesville, urging voters to triple check their ballots.

Pyche apologized to voters who were impacted by the mistake and said the incident was a fluke.

“Elections are processes that are made up of people, paper and equipment,” he said. “This is an instance of purely human error.”

Pyche said no one else at precinct 27 received an incorrect ballot once the problem was addressed.

About 36 million people nationwide and 5 million Floridians voted early in 2018 midterm elections. This year’s early voter turnout yields a significant increase in comparison to 27.2 million voters that cast their ballot early in the 2014 midterm election.

The returns, the emotions: See Election Day photos from around Gainesville

“People are very passionate about the direction that the country is going and which direction they want the country to go in,” said Oliver Rhoden, who didn’t experience complications with his ballot while voting today, but did initially go to the wrong precinct location.

Some voters, like Jacqueline Herring, were driven by a particular amendment on the ballot in their decision to vote. Herring, a first-time voter and a sophomore at Santa Fe College, said the main reason she decided to vote revolved around Amendment 13, which would phase out dog racing in the state.

“I have a few dogs of my own,” she said. “I’m big on animal protection.”

According to Herring, she used to believe people’s votes didn’t count that much, but after submitting her ballot today, she felt pride.

About Jillian Chabot

Jillian is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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