Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Governor Extends Early Voting

Florida Governor Charlie Crist today used his powers to issue an executive order extending early voting throughout the state. Here's the nub of it, after a lot of whereas's and wherefore's:
I order the Supervisors of Elections to open early voting sites from 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. through October 31, 2008 and open early voting sites for a total of twelve (12) hours between 7 a.m. November 1, 2008 and 7 p.m. November 2, 2008.
For the western-most two counties in the Florida panhandle, this represents a considerable expansion of early voting. Until today, to comply with the restrictive legislation passed by the Republican-dominated legislature in 2005, local election officials were forced to keep banker's hours and were not planning on being open at all this coming Sunday.

Dept. of Amplification and Clarification
10-29 am

According to Wednesday's PNJ, both Escambia and Santa Rosa election officials "will use all of their weekend hours on Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m." There will be no early voting on Sunday in the greater Pensacola area, at all.

Locally, then, the net effect of Governor Crists' order is to extend early voting hours an additional four hours each day through Saturday, only, for a total of 16 additional hours. If the last week's past is prologue, Saturday November 1 will see the heaviest turn-out of early voters.

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