‘Sit down and shut up:’ Lake supervisor of elections battles voting misinformation

False information circulating about when to submit vote-by-mail ballots, Alan Hays says

Central Florida voters have until Oct. 29 to request a mail-in ballot, though elections officials said that misinformation has been spreading about how to vote by mail.

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Alan Hays, Lake County’s supervisor of elections, said voting misinformation is inviting disaster ahead of Election Day.

Hays said he was reading an Associated Press article about some people who are encouraging others not to send in their vote-by-mail ballots and instead hold onto them until Election Day.

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“Candidly, the people that are trying to push it, I want to tell them to sit down and shut up. I hate to be so dogmatic, but that’s what it boils down to,” Hays said.

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Hays is referring to this article, which details a strategy employed by certain Republican activists of calling for voters to hang on to their vote-by-mail ballots until Election Day.

Hays told News 6 when he read it, he knew he had to get a message out to voters.

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He said voters cannot show up to a polling precinct on Election Day and turn in a vote-by-mail ballot.

All vote-by-mail ballots can be mailed in and Hays recommends doing so 7 to 10 days before the election.

Vote-by-mail ballots can also be dropped off at one of the 12 early voting sites, operating across the county through Nov. 5, or at the supervisor of elections office in Tavares.

Lake County Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays held a news conference Tuesday to address “confusion” for some voters allegedly caused by emails sent from the Republican Party of Lake County and an organization called Florida4America.org.

Hays said in order for your ballot to count, election officials have to be in physical possession of it by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

This isn’t the first time Lake County’s supervisor of elections has went up to bat in the name of election truths and lies.

He addressed some confusion about vote by mail caused by emails sent from the Republican Party of Lake County and an organization called Florida4America.org back in August.

And across the state, Florida election officials are dealing with a myriad of misinformation. To find more debunked election myths, click here.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.