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PBC open for voting, FL Dems file lawsuit over early voting

by Dara Kam | November 4th, 2012

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher is allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person today and tomorrow although the early voting period ended yesterday.

And Florida Democrats have filed a federal lawsuit against Bucher, Miami-Dade County and Broward County elections supervisors and Secretary of State Ken Detzner. The lawsuit asks a judge force the three county supervisors to allow absentee voting in person until Tuesday’s election because of long lines.

Bucher said she was aware of the lawsuit and is keeping her offices open today and tomorrow to allow voters to request and cast absentee ballots at the counter. She said the main office will be open today until 5 p.m. and tomorrow from 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

“Our last early voter voted at 2:30 in the morning and people were waiting outside the office when I got there at 7:30 this morning,” Bucher said this morning. “The voters deserve to vote and since we have the ability to allow them to vote an absentee ballot at the counter, I think that’s the right thing to do.”

Voting by absentee ballot at the counter until Election Day is permissible under Florida law.

“Voting with an absentee ballot began weeks before ‘early voting’ and will continue until 7pm Tues. MiamiDade isn’t unique or outside the law,” Detzner’s spokesman Chris Cate said in a Twitter message in response to a flurry of traffic about the early voting situation in Florida.

The Florida Democratic Party filed the lawsuit against Detzner and the supervisors in federal court in Miami seeking an emergency injunction to force Bucher, Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes and Miami-Dade County elections supervisor Penelope Townsley to accept the absentee ballots and let voters know their offices are open.

Voters in the three counties have had to wait up to seven hours to cast their ballots, lawyers for the FDP wrote in the lawsuit.

“The extensive lines are the result of polling facilities that are inadequate to meet the needs of Florida electors during the early voting period,” the lawsuit alleges.

Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer asked Detzner to extend early voting to accommodate the lines of people waiting for ballots, but Detzner said that would require a state of emergency.

“Fortunately, no such situation currently exists in the state of Florida,” Detzner wrote in an e-mail to Sawyer yesterday.

The demand for early voting – shrunk from 14 to eight days in an election overhaul passed by lawmakers last year – has created a chaotic situation in Florida. Some supervisors kept their offices open beyond the early voting period but are only accepting provisional ballots. Bucher and Townsley are allowing voters to request early ballots at the counter, but Snipes is only accepting absentee ballots already requested, according to news reports.

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36 Responses to “PBC open for voting, FL Dems file lawsuit over early voting”

  1. Julia Says:

    This is exactly what every county is Florida should be doing especially since it is in the Florida Constitution.
    People are early voting and they represent all viewpoints. One of the strengths of America is our right to vote without a threat to our lives. It is absolutely deplorable that there are States, Counties and business leaders who think that restriction of voters is acceptable as well as telling them–just like Russsia–how they must vote it they want their jobs.

  2. Rick Scott Says:

    Excellent. Things are progessing exactly as we expected. Now, we can burn all of those pesty early voter ballots. -Rick Scott.

    People, wake up! This is not a concession. This is exactly what they expected.

    Absentee balloting is where the voter fraud, that not coincidentally, the GOP is always speaking of. All the research shows there is statistically-speaking no in-person voter fraud (1 in 75M). The fraud is what they do with the absentee ballots. This needs to be investigated by the FBI. Watch ALL absentee ballots arriving at the Post Offices/voting places. This corrupt GOP gov’t will stop at nothing to win. He is a rat.

  3. Revisit Early Voting Says:

    The legislature reaped what they sowed when they reduced early voting in a presidential year from 2 weeks to 1 week. Now instead of everyone that wanted to vote early, voting by machine, we’ll have lots of extra absentee ballots. The fraud happens with absentee ballots, not in person early voting. The legislature needs to revisit this and extend early voting IN PRESIDENTIAL YEARS back to 2 weeks.

  4. Very Tired Says:

    How is one week any differenct than two weeks. the total hours of voting is the same both ways. 96 hours!
    the only thing that differed is the costs. It saves money to setup for 12 hours a day vs. 6 hours a day for twice and many day.

  5. Revisit Early Voting Says:

    The lines weren’t like this in 2008, so there must be a difference.

  6. Marcia Bar Says:

    Democrats are trying to steal OUR ELECTION. This is just a front for voting fraud.

  7. Marcia Says:

    Democrats are trying to steal OUR ELECTION. This is just a front for voting fraud.

  8. AC/DC Says:

    What a surprise! Who knew? People would actually VOTE in an election. How many times do these election officials need to be caught “off guard” when an election is happening? Just like everything else nowadays. Try going to a hospital emergency room. They look at you and say, “you came here and you expect to be treated for an emergency? Wait a few hours and we’ll see if anyone gives a crap here….”

  9. Jupiter voter Says:

    I am still waiting for my ballot. Forget it if you are an independent like me. You can only absentee vote in PB county if you are a Democrat. Bucher is disgusting!

  10. HankS Says:

    Is it true that the SOE will personally drive to your house to pick up your absentee ballot?

  11. Time Says:

  12. Wendy S Says:

    It’s all working out as planned. They stole it from Gore and they’re doing their absolute best to steal it from Obama. They can’t pull off a win any other way other than resorting to dirty dealing. The only question in my my mind is why I continue to hope for change.

  13. Howard Says:

    Democrats and their welfare check illegals are trying to steal this election so they can steal our country.

  14. Time Says:

    Joseph Stiglitz: “Romney’s plan is based on magic”
    Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz — an Obama critic — says Romney’s cuts would be disastrous

  15. Barb2020 Says:

    Casting absentee ballots in person, wth, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I am glad I do not live in Fl., something is amiss.

  16. Time Says:

    Oh my goodness, Howard, you are paranoid and ridiculous. Pray your family never falls on hard times.

  17. Jupiter Guy Says:

    This has got to be driving Skeletor crazy.

  18. LRT Says:

    Crude personal attacks are often a tactic used by the ignorant and an indicator that they have run out of substantial arguments!

  19. Sarah Says:

    The most cruel people in this election have been Republicans, hands down. I’ve never seen so much name calling and hatred by a group of people. It saddens me that this is what the Republicans have become. I will not vote for people that represent such a hateful group.

  20. Steve Says:

    @LRT, you mean like stereotyping a group of people? Ex: “welfare check illegals.” Please explain because I’m pretty sure grouping Democrats and welfare check illegals is probably not a nice thing to say.

  21. Sherry McAllister Says:

    Yes, things did change…early vote days cut from 14 to 8

  22. LRT Says:

    @ Steve. You got it!

  23. Election insider Says:

    You have always been able to cast an absentee ballot at the counter – it’s the law. I don’t know why people stood in early voting lines for up to 8 hours when they could have walked up to a counter in the SOE office and voted in minutes! To #4 – You are wrong, it is not cheaper to do more hours in less days. The poll workers had to work obscene overtime hours at OT pay. Plus they were sooo exhausted from working 14 – 16 hour days (with opening and closing)that I can only imagine the endless # of mistakes that were made. Every unit was moving rediculously slow because the staff was falling asleep in their tracks. To #5 the reason it worked so much smoother in 2008 is because Susan Bucher was not in charge!!! They had intelligent, capable pollworkers doing thier jobs in 2008. For this election Bucher got rid of MANY experienced, well trained workers because of HER EGO! Bucher used totaly green people that had no idea what they were doing and did not properly train them. People were put in positions based on who was her friend or kissed her backside – not based on skills. With the unending list of mistakes Bucher has made, when is she going to be removed from her position to protect PB County, and this country from her screw ups?

  24. Obama/Dems 2012 Says:

    Florida Republicans are an embarrassment to this country.

    Florida Republicans are an embarrassment to democracy.

    Thankfully, the people of this state are so tired of being pushed around by these neofascist Republicans (ahem Rick Scott, ahem Jeb Bush) and we are voting in massive numbers to make sure President Obama wins Florida and wins re-election.

  25. Howard Says:

    Democrats need time to fish illegals out of the ocean so they can pay them to vote for Obama

  26. Emeritus Says:

    Per the insight afforded by Ockham’s Razor: a straightforward, reasonable explanation might be that this voting mess was planned and implemented successfully thereby ensuring that this voting mess resulted. What we are experiencing may be exactly what was planned.

  27. Oscar Says:

    Like Obama says…elections have consequences so Gov Scott is not doing what would give Democrats an advantage. If there was a Democrat governor, early voting would have started in January.

  28. xtend a hand Says:

    Whoever wins will have half the country against them.

    A sectionalized, divided country will not survive.

  29. jebamoni4 Says:

    I have been watching elections in Palmbeach county many years. Many of the lazy Floridians do not even register to vote, but talk very loud about politics. Many of them do not even register because they thing that the Governmwent will catch them for not paying child support or Tax due. So naturally, rogues like West, Scott and other misfits win. That is the fate of Florida!!! Sleep well Floridians!!

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  31. Obama/Dems 2012 Says:

    If any Jewish Floridians are leaning towards Obama or undecided, hopefully this will help you decide:

    Haaretz has endorsed President Obama as “good for Israel”!


    … a deeper examination of the core issues comprising the two countries’ relations – devoid of political and personal interests – reveals no grounds for portraying Obama in a negative light.

    Obama continued this two-way track vis-a-vis Iran and the issue of Palestinian statehood. Under his pressure, Israel suspended for the first time – for a while – construction in the settlements. Relations between the two countries’ armed forces have never been so close. Obama’s challenge in his second term, if he wins the elections, is to lead the region to a stable arrangement of peace and security.

    The outcome of the elections will be determined by the voters’ decision as to which of the two candidates is good for America. But if any of them are vacillating in their vote over whether Obama has been a good president for Israel, the answer is yes.

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  35. Disgusted Says:

    Democrat counties can vote but other counties can’t????

    The vote has been suppressed in other counties!

    Why is this allowed? Why hasn’t Detzner been arrested? This is outrageous!!!

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