Saturday, October 30, 2004

Too Little, Too Late

In the latest GOP STV (Suppress The Vote) campaign:
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office dropped off nearly 2,500 absentee ballots at the main mail center Saturday, and postal workers have to scramble to make sure they are delivered on Monday, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said.
- - - -
A postal service spokesman said he hoped the last-minute batch of absentee ballots, received at the Fort Lauderdale Processing and Distribution Center on Oakland Park Boulevard, reached voters in time for their votes to count.

"Much to our surprise [elections workers] showed up at our back dock at 1:50 on Saturday afternoon with 2,467 ballots that needed to go out," said postal spokesman Gerry McKiernan. "Then they came back at 3 o'clock with 29 more."

McKiernan said he worried that many voters would not be able to return their absentee ballots in time, particularly those who are out of state.

"Some of these have to go out to Atlanta, Little Rock, Las Vegas," McKiernan said. "I have to be honest. I don't think we're going to make it on those."

Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said earlier this week that out-of-state voters would receive their absentee ballots via Federal Express. Attempts to reach her by cell phone Saturday were unsuccessful.
Despite the GOP's best efforts, though, this year voters refuse to be disenfranchised.
Some voters decided they could not afford to wait for a mailed ballot.

Kevin James, 20, of Lauderhill, said he traveled 11 hours by bus from Tallahassee, where he is a senior at Florida A&M University, because he still has not received an absentee ballot and he wanted to make sure he voted in this election.

"For me not to vote would be a great disservice to everyone who fought for the right to vote," said James. "And it would be a disservice to myself. If you don't vote you can't complain."

James waited four hours to vote at the Lauderhill Mall and will get back on a bus to Tallahassee this afternoon.
And James isn't the only one. This from the Boca Raton News:
Despite horror stories about early voting in Palm Beach County, residents continue to flock to the polls to cast ballots in advance of Election Day Tuesday.

“Three hours and we did it,” shouted two women as they left the polling place at the South County Administrative Center on Congress Avenue in Delray Beach Wednesday.

Voters leaving other balloting spots around South County were generally grousing. “It took too long, there were only a couple of voting machines,” said Theresa Lombardo, who touch-screened her ballot at the county library in West Boca Raton on Wednesday. Her husband, Al, was doubly angry – about the long wait and, politically, about George W. Bush. He offered a Boca Raton News reporter a litany of presidential weaknesses.

“I’ve waited four years for this day,” said Lombardo, who identified himself as the sports director for WSBR radio. “I haven’t been able to sleep for four years.”
Be afraid, Repugs. Be very afraid. Voter turnout is going to be huge.


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