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Florida Election Ballot Woes

The Tampa Bay Times just reminded me why I never  focused my law practice in election laws. The Florida ballot this fall  is longer than ever.

The ballot will be full of choices for US Senate, Congress, the State Legislature, county offices, merit retention for judges and city and county referendums. There are even 11 proposed changes to their state Constitution.

According to Supervisor of Elections, Deborah Clark, “This is the longest ballot I can remember. The voter who sees this ballot the first time, may need smelling salts”. Another County Supervisor, Harry Sawyer, Jr. added, “They have created a monster”.

The ballot is so long that voters will have to fill out multiple sheets with races on both sides; Then, feed those sheets through ballot scanners one page at a time. Election officials admit that this will cause long waits in the lines to the polls, and people will need more time to vote.

As a past political science major, I look at this kind of voting expectation and know that it favors those that can take time from work. If you are afraid of getting stuck in line or can’t take the time to get through the entire ballot, then these ballots certainly favor those without such restriction. It adds an interesting factor to the Presidential race, with Florida being such an important state.

History tells us that in 1960,  the Presidential election may have been significantly impacted by dead voters. I guess “vote early-vote often” sounds a whole lot less illegal than also having 56 different people reportedly voting out of one house. I recall that history, because this Florida ballot makes me wonder if anyone will pass away during this election, while waiting in line so long to vote!

For pic 0′ day, I was sent this as a reminder that when you’re hurt, it sure is easy to get a bit angry!


Election Day Blog

Election Day always has an excitement to it. It's a culmination of campaigns and an end to all the endless commercials. I guess I won't have to see the one, again, that made me laugh every time. The one Attorney General candidate was basically saying that his opponent was not against spousal abuse. Do they really think that the electorate is that silly.

I've been involved in a few campaigns, in various capacities. None though, as the candidate. However, I imagine that it's a relief when today comes to an end. Obviously more exciting as the winner.  Both candidates will wake up tomorrow with nowhere to go to campaign.

Last week, Pilot Online did an article on voting while in jail. One inmate has voted for over 40 years straight, and he was determined to make sure he voted in this election. He cast his ballot by absentee, since they weren't going to let him out to vote. He is currently in jail, on two misdemeanor charges, so he hasn't lost his right to vote.

 He obviously also has a sense of humor. He noted that none of the candidates had been to the jail to solicit votes. The reporter in the article even tried to get a funny quote from one of the candidates. Instead, some campaign spokesman just replied that they had no plans to campaign there. I guess maybe that your sense of humor even gets tired during long campaigning.

Well, it's off to vote. Today, there is an election for Governor in New Jersey and Virginia. The pundits say that it could be a split with a Democrat winning in New Jersey and a Republican in Virginia. Then the spin will begin by both sides as to whether this means anything for the White House.

Every election day, my wife and I have a routine. We go vote early and then off to breakfast, before going to work. We try to make election day fun. It sure beats those days when I had to get up real early and run to several voting places, to put up signs. That definitely is for the young. For me, I'm more excited about what choice of syrup I should put on my pancakes this morning. Now that's some real choices to make!   

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