Tatiana Velasquez got an election day surprise.
“I kindly went up to them and said I’m sorry, I think you gave me the wrong ballot, I’m a Democrat,” she said.
Showing up to a polling place on Ridge Road in New Port Richey, she intended to vote as a Democrat for Bernie Sanders.
But poll workers had her listed as a Republican.
The 23-year old said that’s never been her party.
So, she went to the election office to get it figured out. But staff there said she’d switched.
“I had asked her, in order to swap over it would require a signature, and she said yes. So, I asked her if she could provide me with documentation saying I swapped over from Democrat to Republican. And she said there was nothing that she could show me, there was no paper. She told me there was nothing we can really do,” she said.
We took Tatiana’s claim to Pasco Supervisor of Elections, Brian Corley.
He said records show in 2010 she did make a party switch, while getting a license at the DMV.
His office fielded thousands of calls yesterday from voters who also wanted to vote in a particular primary , but couldn’t because of their party affiliation.
“One of things we always stress is, check your status. Don’t wait until election day because part of the problem we had, we had record numbers of individuals switching parties prior to the book closing date which is 29 days before the election, but there were some that obviously didn’t,” said Corley.
Velasquez insists the switch must be some kind of mistake and never would have gone Republican.
“Every vote counts, and this was actually my first time voting in the primary and this is a very big election to me, so I had to go through a lot and I was very frustrated,” said Velasquez.
Velasquez had to vote for a Republican Tuesday, so she chose Marco Rubio.
Then she made the switch back to Democrat, so she’ll be ready for the next primary election in August.
To find out for sure which party you are registered with, call your county’s Supervisor of Election’s office or check their website.