Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Scattershooting on a Wednesday morning...

--- Here are the numbers for early/absentee voting in Polk County to date, by party affiliation of those participating:

DEMOCRAT: 13,114

The numbers are good, as that is approximately 11 percent of the county's registered voters. When speaking to one of the office workers in Lakeland when I voted absentee two weeks ago, I was informed that over 29,000 absentee ballots had been requested and mailed.

There are only three early voting locations in Polk, a county larger than the state of Rhode Island. They are at the Supervisor of Elections' main office in Bartow and the branch offices in Lakeland and Winter Haven. That said, things have gone fairly well except for long lines and one case in Lakeland where the office staff had to fast track to Bartow for more ballots when they ran out for one geographical area.

Looks like the promise of long lines and a busy day next Tuesday will come to pass. If we can just get out registered Democrats to show up...

--- Kudos to Blogwood for the heads up on the next couple of items: Miami television station WPLG-10 has discovered that as many as 58,000 absentee ballots in Broward County that were supposed to be mailed out two weeks ago could be missing! Thousands of people who requested absentee ballots have yet to receive them, and it's a mystery to the Supervisor of Elections' office there, who reportedly mailed them October 7-8, and to the United States Postal Service, whose spokesperson noted there are several people who specifically handle absentee ballots.

--- And BBC News is reporting a secret document obtained from the Bush/Cheney Florida headquarters suggests a plan to possibly target African-American voters in Duval County for ballot challenges at their polling places. Anyone whose qualifications to vote is challenged may still vote using a provisional ballot; wheather it would be counted is determined by a canvassing board.

It is a violation of federal law to target challenges to voters --- even is there is a basis for it --- is race is a factor in such a challenge.

--- And you've got to feel for Brett Farve right now. The Green Bay Packers quarterback (and fellow Southern Mississippi alum) has gone through soooooo much, and now another bombshell. His father, who was his high school football coach, died last year from a heart attack; his brother-in-law was killed about three weeks ago in an ATV accident on Farve's property near Hattiesburg, Mississippi; now his beloved wife Deanna has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is that after having a lumpectomy performed in New York, she will go through chemotherapy and is expected to make a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers to them all.

--- Finally, the Boston Red Sox could make short shrift to the World Series tonight by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals after going three up last night. Within a week, Boston may have a LOT to cheer about: A World Championship baseball team, and a hometown president-elect!


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