Florida Woman Declared Dead Twice, Can’t Vote

Connie Smith, a 61-year-old Orlando resident, has been kicked off voter rolls twice because state and Orange County elections officials believe she is dead.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Constance S. Smith received a letter last Friday from the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office that read,

“This letter is to inform you that the person named above has been removed from the Orange County vote rolls after we received notification of their death.”

Smith received a similar letter in 2008, and it took her six months to prove that she was not actually dead. Her driver’s license was invalidated and the Social Security Administration asked her family for reports about her death.

In the end, Smith had to get a signed and sealed “non-death” certificate from the state’s health department that said there was no record of her death. Apparently, there was a Constance Simmons Smith who died in Miami that year who had the same date of birth as Constance Slate Smith of College Park.

The deputy supervisor of elections for Orange County, Linda Tanko, said this year’s error may have been caused by the Social Security Administration. The SSA shares data with the Florida Division of Elections, which put Smith on the “death list” it sends to counties with instructions to remove names from voter rolls. Tanko said she is working to get Smith “straight on the books.”

A similar incident occurred in 2006, when Florida governor Rick Scott was told he died by a local elections office. Scott was declared dead when he went to vote in Naples, but it was actually Richard E. Scott, not Richard Lynn Scott, who had passed away. The two men had the same birthday, just as the two Constance Smiths shared the same birthday.