Monday, October 18, 2004
Potential problem for some in Florida early voting
A deluge of new registrations - more than 20,000 - flooded into Johnson's office [Hillsborough County - Tampa] at the close of registration Oct. 4. The elections staff and a score of temporary employees were working overtime this past weekend to process all the new registrations by the start of early voting.
Elections officials said Sunday that about 3,500 registrations remained unprocessed at the end of the day.
If new voters attempt to vote early and their registrations have not yet been entered into elections computers, Johnson has instructed his staff to search through stacks of envelopes at the downtown elections office to try to locate the unprocessed registrations. As a last resort, Johnson said a voter whose registration cannot be located would be offered the opportunity to file a provisional ballot.
The registration backlog may be occurring in other areas of Florida as well. I've written a note to the Florida Democratic party for their advice on this.
If a voter finds that he/she is not on the registration rolls, should the voter immediately vote a provisional ballot or is it better to wait until the Supervisor of Elections can assert that all registrations are processed?
I've recommended that the Florida Dems post a response on their website. If they post a response or respond to me by email, I'll let you know their advice.