Thursday, March 13, 2008

Florida Democrats re-do proposel

The primary will be organized at a Florida Democratic Primary Headquarters (HQ) office in Central Florida. The 50 REOs will handle local outreach and educational activity, with specific consideration given to disadvantaged communities.

Vote-by-mail (VBM) packets will be mailed to all registered Democratic voters at least two weeks prior to Election Day (likely earlier). This will be handled by a firm experienced in special elections conducted by mail. VBM packets will contain a prepaid, addressed return envelope and one ballot. The instructions will be simple and clearly printed on the ballot and envelope. All ballots and instructions will be printed in English, Spanish and Creole to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The plan can be submitted to the Justice Department for approval under Section 5.

Although VBM packets will not be forwarded, when a ballot is returned as undeliverable, a notification card will be sent to the voter’s forwarding address offering the voter the opportunity to correct their registration record and receive a new VBM packet in time for the election. The undeliverable ballots also will be recorded and stored until 21 days after the voting deadline.

If a voter does not receive a ballot or whose ballot has been damaged/lost, he or she may contact HQ or an REO to request a replacement. A voter may cast an in-person provisional ballot at a regional office if their voting eligibility cannot be confirmed.
REOs will be open every day for the two weeks leading up to the voting deadline for informational purposes, distribution of replacement ballots, in-person voting, and collection of completed ballots. REOs will have a locked ballot box and will be staffed, but votes will only be counted at HQ. Every evening, the day’s ballot box will be picked up from the REOs and transported to HQ. All ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on Election Day to count.
Anyone who thinks Florida can pull this off is fooling themselves. They can't even get their regular elections right. And it's no comfort that this is their "best option." How do you verify? And what happens when a load of ballots from the African American community are found in a garbage dumpster the day after the primary count?

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