When does early voting end in Florida? The Division of Elections website states “August 24th.” Some newspaper articles state August 23rd. So who is right? Both are, it depends on your county.
Florida Statute 101.657 (1)(d) provides in part: “Early voting shall be provided for 8 hours per weekday and 8 hours in the aggregate each weekend at each site during the applicable periods.” Some Supervisors of Elections have implemented the 8 hours aggregate requirement each weekend by opening early voting sites for 8 hours on Saturday and kept the sites closed on Sunday, while other have scheduled 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday. Check the list published by the State before heading out to vote on the weekend.
Reports so far, mostly out of South Florida, cast a positive review on the first days of early voting using paper ballots in formerly touchscreen locations. The Sun Sentinel ran one article titled “Paper ballots get rave reviews” in Broward County, and another article titled “Computer problems frustrate some on first day of early voting,” related to some delays in Palm Beach County because of problems with the state voter registration system. The Miami Herald proclaimed “No hitches, no glitches on first day of voting” and a UPI wire story stated “Early Florida voting goes flawlessly.”
The St. Pete Times published an article today about concerns about the potential problems with paper ballots and recounts. What I found most interesting is the news that the State intends to issue a new “voter intent” rule on September 28th – in between the primary and general elections. This rule deals with how local canvassing boards should determine whether a voter intended to mark a vote selection when a question arises. The existing rule is published by the State online, along with an example sheet.
The proposed rule has been in the works for months, but the link on the State’s website to the notice of rule does not lead anywhere and has the odd name of http://election.dos.state.fl.us/rules/proposed-rules/pdf/R1S-2.027Stand4DeterVoterChoice.pdf – certainly not the best file naming idea.
Early voting in Florida for the August 26th primary election has begun – the State has published a master list of early voting sites for all counties.