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What A Surprise — Why Now?
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What A Surprise

The St. Petersburg Times is running a piece on the effects of provisional ballots on the election process thanks to that other piece of voter suppression passed by the Florida legislature, the “no match, no vote” verification law.

Imagine a law based on the concept that there are no typos in official records. My middle name appears on my birth certificate, military records [once], and my Florida driver’s license. I hadn’t written out my complete name in more years than most of the people reading this have been alive, but I have to sign in with my total name when I vote these days. When I get junk mail I know when someone has gotten my name from the drivers’ license list, because there is my middle name. I have to stop and remember how to spell it, and I am writing it, not signing it, as it is obviously much easier to read than either my first or last name.

The problem for the 67 Supervisors of Elections in Florida is that they have to investigate each individual provisional ballot, notify the people affected if it isn’t accepted, and wait two days for a reply. This election may not be called on Tuesday night in Florida, if it is close, and we could end up with another 2000.

This Lee Judge cartoon about respect for the Senate applies to the Florida legislature.


1 Steve Bates { 10.30.08 at 6:04 pm }

My driver’s license and passport contain my middle name. My voter certificate has my middle initial… no, I do not remember why, but I do use the middle-initial form of the name for almost all legal purposes. This difference is enough to get me twice as many jury summonses as people whose names match exactly on the two government lists. No, they can’t fix it; I asked them.

Names or addresses that do not match exactly among various databases are the rule, not the exception. The law that flags such names as suspect for voting purposes is mere partisan thuggery.

2 Bryan { 10.30.08 at 8:05 pm }

I wonder if John Ellis Bush [aka “Jeb” Bush] gets a regular or a provisional ballot?

Hell, I know a half dozen local people who only have initials and others who sign everything with a nickname. This is incredibly stupid for Florida.