Formula for counting number of past due dates in 1 column for a dashboard

I have 1 sheet with all my formulas on it that my dashboard pulls the data from and a sheet that has all my tracking details on it.

The formula i'm getting from Chat GPT is =COUNTIFS({Past Due Activation Dates}, "< & TODAY()") but the answer i'm getting is 0. When it should be 4. I do have empty boxes within the column, because the column have a - and + on them to drop down further information for other columns.

what is the correct formula i should be using? I can't figure it out!

Thank you,



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