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Many Parkland survivors’ ballots went uncounted in 2018

Students who survived the mass shooting last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have become some of the most prominent and politically active gun control advocates in the country. But they seem to have had a tough time getting their votes counted.

Fully 15 percent of mail-in ballots cast by Parkland's college-age voters in last year's midterm election were rejected or failed to arrive in time to be counted, according to an analysis of state voting records by Daniel Smith, chairman of the political science department at the University of Florida. The statewide figure for voters 18 to 21 was 5.4 percent of mail-in ballots rejected or uncounted and the overall statewide share was 1.2 percent, Smith noted.

The numbers were reported by the Washington Post, which said the situation in Broward County highlighted questions about the fairness of the Florida electoral system, which includes a very struct signature match standard that some college-age voters clearly failed to meet. "If you are voting in Florida, and you are young in Florida, you have a good chance of your ballot not being accepted," the professor said. "Imagine going to the ATM, and every 10 times you go, instead of spitting out your money, they take it or they lose it."

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