Tale Of 2 FL Counties, Manatee And Hillsborough, Regarding Mail-in Ballots/ Share Your Tales

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This will be a personal micro analysis of the differences in “mail-in” ballots between those sent out in Manatee County where the Supervisor of Elections, Mike Bennet is a republican and the ones mailed out in Hillsborough County where the Supervisor of Elections, Craig Latimer is a democrat.

I, as a 70 year old Democrat who was a registered republican until 2016, live in Hillsborough County, in the mid-western part of Florida which includes the Tampa Bay region. My best friend lives in a county, just south of Hillsborough.

In Florida, mail-in ballots are sent to voters who have requested this option by a certain date.

Early ballots and voter-registration numbers show Democrats surging in Florida
IN FL, EARLY VOTING BEGINS 10/19/2020

As per the Hillsborough County website:

2020 General Election*

Deadline to register: October 5

Early Voting: October 19 – November 1, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Election Day: November 3, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

County-by-county Florida Primary early voting locations | WPEC

We begin mailing out Vote By Mail ballots on September 24, and voted ballots must be in our office by 7 p.m. on November 3.

To view Manatee County’s Universal Sample Ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election, Click HERE

My Hillsborough County mail-in ballot with 2 pages, included a return envelop with an affixed notice that postage was prepaid. There were no requirement for me to mark a certain number of choices.

My friend’s Manatee County mail-in ballot also included 2 pages but with the caveat that the voter is required to fill out at least 70% of the ballot’s options. In addition, she’s required to affix postage equaling 70 cents.

Why are there these glaring differences and how can these differences significantly effect the outcome?

Early Voting Begins Next Week | Sarasota Magazine

See the following 9/17/2020 Politico report by by by Mark Caputo and Gary Fineout as to why the above described anomalies can be important:

Excerpts:

“More than 35,500 vote-by-mail ballots didn’t count in Florida’s recent primary, rejected because of missed deadlines or technical flaws, an analysis for POLITICO has found.”

The rejections, which accounted for about 1.5 percent of the total vote, came as the battleground state prepares for what could be record voter turnout in the too-close-to-call November presidential election.”

Early Voting

“This could be a huge problem in November,” Smith said. “We could exceed 100,000 vote-by-mail ballots that don’t count.“

“In Florida — a swing state crucial to President Donald Trump’s reelection chances — that could be enough uncounted ballots to make a big difference. Three statewide races in 2018 went to recounts and were decided by 33,000 votes or fewer and, most notoriously, the 2000 presidential contest came down to 537 votes in Florida.”

“Trump won Florida by fewer than 113,000 votes 4 years ago in an election in which 28 percent of the state’s 9.5 million voters cast their ballots by mail.”

“By contrast, some 60 percent of votes cast in the state‘s Aug. 18 primary were sent by mail.”

As More Vote by Mail, Faulty Ballots Could Impact Elections - The New York Times

As per floridadems.org website, voters can access below contact numbers for voting assistance and/ or to report voting irregularities:

Need Assistance?

(833) VOTE-FLA or (833) 868-3352

7 comments

  1. Gronda, many things bother me about the former Republican and Trump Party. When the president first started his “without proof” rhetoric about mail-in voting, Republican state and national leaders said they had confidence in the process that was totally used in five states and used often in 37 states. Yet, as it has become apparent the president is trailing, the narrative on high has been to support the president and echo his, again “unproven rhetoric.” The Fox opinion hosts and other sketchy sources are beating on this drum, which is shameful.

    By the way, I have been watching “The Comey Rules” on HBO, a two part show that takes us through the Comey firing. One person who knows Trump told Comey to be careful of what he said to the president, as Trump reacts with three things in mind – spite, spite, and spite. So, Republicans either fall in line or get vilified. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      It’s disgraceful as to how many good ,honorable decent, competent civil servants the president has treated like sh*t like Mr. Comey, Acting Secretary of State Sally Yates, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Gen Mattis, Gen Kelly, Gen McMaster , FBI Andy McCabe, Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Gary Cohn, DEA Acting Head Charles Rosenberg, DNI Head Dan Coats, and the list goes on forever.

      The president’s GOP cronies in the US Congress have been mum regarding his mistreatment of these public servants.

      These years 2017-2021 under president Trump will be an ugly chapter in future US history books.

      I’ve missed out on seeing “The Comey Rules” on HBO, because I cancelled my HBO account, but I’m sure they’ll be repeats.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • Gronda, you are correct about the sad period in American history. The HBO Comey two part show reveals what went on behind the scenes, then uses actual footage of real people who are covering for Trump’s lies. So, it paints Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a less than favorable light. Trump is obsessed with Steele Dossier and discrediting the sexual claims therein much more than the Russian interference. It also shows Trump was not part of the investigation until he asked Comey to stop looking into Flynn (which is a crime) and then fired Comey.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in Polk county and have just about decided to do early voting. We have 9 places we can go. I had requested a mail in and have not gotten it yet. If I do, I’ll just take it with me to the early voting place, so they can cross reference it. That’s what they say to do. If the lines are too long, I’ll then take the mail in ballot to the election headquarters in Bartow. But I’d want to get my signature verified and don’t know how to do that. I don’t want them to say it doesn’t match my voter registration signature.

    With Desantis as gov, I don’t trust the system here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mary,

      The county’s supervisor of elections is supposed to be a non partisan position but in Manatee County the GOP bias is glaring. In Polk County, the supervisor is Lori Edwards, a democrat. This is true in my county as well. Fortunately in Hillsborough County, the voters can track on line the status of their ballots, and so if there’s any issues like a question about the validity of a signature, there’s time to take corrective action.

      Gov. DeSantis does not give his constituents a reason to trust him when he’s been so cavalier about the COVID-19 high numbers in Florida. In the future, I hope he’s not counting on the senior vote.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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