August 2018
Lake County Supervisor of Elections, Alan Hays
Alan Hays, Lake County Supervisor of ElectionsA Message from Alan Hays...
 
Early voting has started and will wrap up on Saturday, August 25th, so there are several days remaining for folks to take advantage of early voting and avoid the lines on Election Day.  During the first four days of early voting we have had over 3,500 voters cast their ballots. Early voting hours are from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. 
 
We also mailed out over 20,000 vote-by-mail ballots at the end of July and have been mailing ballots daily since then.  We are glad to have such good response to the early voting and vote-by-mail options.  We hope to enhance the Election Day experience for our voters by offering several options in which to vote.  
 
If you choose to vote early or go to the polls on Election Day, you will see a new check-in process.  We are utilizing electronic poll books in which the election worker will swipe your ID card and your information will populate on their screen.  You will be asked to sign an electronic signature pad and then proceed to pick up your ballot.  This will allow for a faster check-in process.  Please be sure to bring photo and signature ID with you when early voting or voting on Election Day.
 
We have received more than 8,000 voted mail ballots in our office and we would like to encourage folks to get those voted ballots back to us as soon as possible.  They must be received in our office before 7 p.m. on Election Day (8/28/18).  Voted ballots can be dropped off at any of the ten early voting sites scattered throughout the county or voters can use the convenient drop box located outside our office to deposit their ballot.  If mailing your voted ballot, please give the post office at least 5 days in which to deliver.  We will not be able to accept ballots received after the 7 p.m. deadline.
 
When returning your voted mail ballot, please make sure you sign the voter certificate on the return envelope.  If there is more than one voter in your household, please double check the voter name on the return envelope before inserting your ballot and signing the voter certificate.  Please ensure you are signing the correct return envelope. You will see the voter name above the barcode on the right side of the return envelope next to the voter's certificate language.  We see it too frequently where the spouse, significant other, or other household member gets the envelopes switched and signs the wrong return envelope.  When this occurs, we are required to send a signature cure letter to verify the correct signatures for each mismatched signature. This causes delays in processing the ballot and can cause the vote not to be counted, and we want to do everything to ensure your vote counts!
 
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Supervisor of Elections.  Feel free to reach out to me at hays@lakevotes.com or 352.343.9734, should you have any questions or if I can be of assistance in any way 
Sincerely,   
 
D. Alan Hays
D. Alan Hays, DMD
Lake County Supervisor of Elections
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We have been encouraging voters to vote in honor of a veteran and to share their stories with us as to why they think voting is important.  We have been highlighting members from our Wall of Honor on social media. 
 
Our hope is that sharing the stories of our veterans who sacrifice so much to ensure our freedoms are protected will help improve voter participation.  One such veteran is Sgt. Eric Ramirez who grew up in Mount Dora.  He was assigned to the 670th Military Police Company of the Army National Guard and was tragically killed in action on 2/12/2004 when he was on patrol near Baghdad and his unit was ambushed. 
Sgt. Ramirez was 31 years old at the time and was just weeks away from returning home to his wife and two young children.  
 
His family submitted his bio and will be voting in his honor.  To learn more about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can retain our freedoms, including our right to vote, visit our Wall of Honor or check out our Instagram and Facebook posts.
Veteran's Wall of Honor
LakeVotes Team
Member Spotlight...
Cecelia Canady
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Cecelia Canady is our Voter Services Director.  She has worked in our office for over twelve years.  
 
As Voter Services Director, she handles a wide range of activities including coordinating the mailout of our vote-by-mail ballots.  She ensures our voters overseas get their ballots on time and painstakingly emails each voter in the military to ensure they are able to exercise their right to vote when stationed overseas. 
 
She takes great care to ensure all voters who request a mail ballot receive one in a timely manner.  The initial vote-by-mail ballot mailout was to over 20,000, and an additional 8,000 have been sent since then.
 
It is also Cecelia’s responsibility to check in the returned ballots and let voters know if there is an issue with their ballot.  She goes to great lengths to help voters resolve issues with their returned ballot. 
 
If a voter forgets to sign the return envelope or provides a signature on his/her return envelope that does not match signature examples on file with  our office, the voter will have a chance to correct the discrepancy by completing and returning a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Cure Affidavit. The deadline to submit the Affidavit is no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election.
Failure to follow the Affidavit instructions carefully may cause the the ballot not to be counted.  The canvassing board makes the final determination as to whether a ballot will be accepted.
Cecelia is very diligent in working with voters in this process because she wants to make sure every vote counts.  She goes the extra mile in contacting voters whenever this situation arises.
She would like to remind voters to make sure their signature on file in our office is up to date and to sign the voter certificate envelope when returning their voted ballot.  She would also like to remind spouses to double check that they are inserting their ballot in the correct envelope.  These are common instances where we have mismatched signatures.
 
Cecelia is kind and always is in your corner when you need support.  She is energetic and always willing to lend a hand wherever she is needed in the office.  She is often the person who trains newer staff because her wealth of knowledge of the entire elections process is invaluable.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and she inspires others to want to do the job right the first time.
 
Cecelia grew up in Lake County and graduated from Tavares High School. She lives in Tavares with her children Zaniya and Iquell and the newest addition to their family, her 8-month-old grandson, Malaki.  She shares stories as his development progresses and has many funny stories to tell about his attempts to start crawling.
 
When Cecelia tells a story, you are able to get a mental picture of all the happenings, and her stories of day-to-day life with Malaki are often the stress reliever we all need.  She enjoys spending time at home with her family.
 
Cecelia would also like to remind voters that the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Primary Election is Wednesday, August 22nd.
Voting By Mail
Attention Election Workers...
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Thank you for all you have done to make the first days of Early Voting run smoothly.
 
We appreciate your embracing the new check-in process utilizing the electronic voter check-in and the use of the ballot-on-demand printers. 
 
The ballot-on-demand printers eliminated the need for each of you to have stacks and stacks of the various ballot styles at each early voting site and allowed you to print only the customized ballot for the voter upon check-in.  We feel this is a positive way to avoid waste and save time.  We know using new equipment for the first time can be challenging, but you all have done an excellent job incorporating the new technology and advising the office of how the process is going.
 
We appreciate all your efforts to ensure the voter's experience at the polls is a positive one.  Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.
 
 
Election Security
Election security is something our office takes very seriously and we are diligient in our efforts to ensure the integrity of our database.  We know there have been reports of security breaches and understand why voters have concerns.  
 
We would like to share that we work with multiple agencies and have layers of security measures in place and want voters to feel confident when they go to the polls that their vote will be accurately and efficiently counted and without risk.  
 
We feel that election security is a non-partisan issue and would hope if anyone has evidence of a legitimate threat to our system that they would share that data and deploy assistance to help maintain the integrity of the process.  
 
We have to maintain a balance of reassuring voters that our systems are secure without revealing too many details regarding the steps we take to ensure that security.
 
We are concerned that one of the biggests threats to our democracy is for voters to not participate in our elections process.  So many have fought for the right to vote it would be unfortunate if what gets published in the newspapers causes voters to voluntarily give up their right to vote.  
 
 
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Lake County Supervisor of Elections
1898 E. Burleigh Blvd.
Tavares, FL 32778
www.LakeVotes.com
352.343.9734
 
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