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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!


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