Our wonderful Gov. Rick Scott [COUGH!…] has cut our Early Voting days in half in most counties, so some voting precincts can expect to see longer than usual lines at the polls. Florida is a high stakes, major swing state, and, by far, the most coveted prize with its 29 electoral votes. If Romney loses Florida there’s no way he…
Our wonderful Gov. Rick Scott [COUGH!…] has cut our Early Voting days in half in most counties, so some voting precincts can expect to see longer than usual lines at the polls. Florida is a high stakes, major swing state, and, by far, the most coveted prize with its 29 electoral votes. If Romney loses Florida there’s no way he can win the White House. Especially after the 2000 Presidential Election, we Floridians know better than anyone that we can’t afford to lose any votes in the most critical swing state.
Have you considered Vote By Mail (VBM)? It’s the same as an Absentee Ballot, but you don’t have to be absent. It comes to your home 30 days before the election. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t feel like I’ve voted unless I go to the poll,” and “I don’t mind waiting in line.” If that’s you, please consider this:
1. VBM eliminates the percentage of people who intend to, but never get to the polls due to a bad day at work, illness, a death in the family, or other tragic event including drama at home.
2. You don’t have to wait in a long line! Depending on how your precinct is set up, the line may move at a snail’s pace. Unless you have a few extra hours, you may not be able to get to vote!
3. You won’t be contributing to the line that might turn others away! While you may be willing to wait three or more hours to vote, others are not! Shorter lines increase the percentage of votes.
4. Not only will your VBM ballot be counted, it will be counted first! While some states may not count their absentee ballots unless the election is close, Florida is different.
5. Vote in the comfort of your home in your underwear, or drag, and a glass of wine! The ballot is long and includes issues like amendments that you might not be aware of until you see the ballot.
6. VBM allows you can take the time to research and discuss the issues with someone you trust. Hopefully that’s your partner! There are also proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot about which people aren’t generally prepared to formulate an opinion. The League of Women Voters of Florida helps make it easy to learn more about proposed amendments at www.thefloridavoter.org. Also, the Dolphin Democrats post a Voters Guide on their site at www.dolphindems.org.
7. VBM helps the Obama campaign. Voter suppression efforts have been designed by Republicans to benefit Republicans. First you should know that by getting all eligible voters to vote, typically benefits Democratic candidates. Republicans like Speaker John Boehner are well aware that suppressing the vote benefits the GOP. Earlier this year said he stated that he hopes Blacks and Latinos don’t vote. Last year Gov. Rick Scott purged all VBM enrollments. BECAUSE OF THIS PURGE, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU HAD ENROLLED IN VBM – YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR ENROLLMENT AND RE-ENROLL.
8. You’ll have fewer phone calls and door knocks. Once your ballot has been returned to the Supervisor of Elections, your name and phone number typically disappear from candidates call and walk lists. You might like this, and it also benefits the Obama Campaign as they’ll have fewer people to follow up with during crunch time.
9. Verify that your local Supervisor of Elections received the ballot! People feel much more secure about VBM once they know that a few days after the ballot has been sent they can go onto the local Supervisor of Elections’ website and verify that they received it! Your local site is easily Googled by entering the name of your county and “Supervisor of Elections”, or find it through www.election.dos.state.fl.us
10. Enrollment doesn’t mean you forfeit going to the polls if you change your mind. Simply bring your absentee ballot to the precinct where they will officially void it allowing you to vote there. This is often misunderstood, but so long as you have the blank absentee ballot to hand in, you should have no problem voting! If you lost or misplace the ballot, you may be asked to sign an affidavit stating so.
You must sign the envelope or your vote will not be counted! The instructions that come with the ballot are clear. Just follow the instructions.
VBM could be especially useful for elderly family members – you can request ballots for those family members who are less able. Enroll in Vote by Mail by contacting your local Supervisor of Elections. Find yours by either calling 850-245-6200 or visit www.election.dos.state.fl.us The deadline for enrollment is Wednesday, October 31, at 5:00 p.m. Your county Supervisor of Elections must receive your VBM ballot no later than November 6th, 2012 for the General Election, and you can hand deliver it. Remember, if you’ve previously been enrolled, please check to see that you are still registered!
The stakes are too high to be complacent about your Florida vote! If you need to register to vote or update your address on your voter registration go to: www.GottaVote.com