As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Watchin'

Most of the polls have closed in Florida (the Panhandle is in a different time zone, so they close at about 8pm ET). So far the Republican race is as close as can be, within about 100 votes or so between McCain and Romney at last count. The Democratic beauty contest will be called for Clinton at the top of the hour; apparently surrogates like AFSCME were actually sending mailers and doing GOTV in the state, in contravention of party rules. (UPDATE: Looks like UNITE HERE was dropping Obama lit, too.)

Considering that the Republican race is this close, could events like this be decisive?

Among the problems creeping up during the primaries were a few polls that opened late in Palm Beach County, and long lines in Broward County, which Browning said his office was reviewing.

Browning, however, hadn't heard anything about an Orange County precinct Tuesday morning where at least two voters said they were told there was no Democratic primary today.

"That's the first I've heard about that," he told reporters in Tallahassee. Afterward, an aide contacted the Orange County election supervisor's office and was told the ballots weren't unpacked when the polls opened this morning and one voter had been effected, said Browning spokesman Sterling Ivey [...]

In northern Coral Springs, near the Sawgrass Expressway and Coral Ridge Drive, David Nirenberg arrived to vote as an independent. Nevertheless, he said poll workers insisted he choose a party ballot.

"He said to me, 'Are you Democrat or Republican?' I said, 'Neither, I am independent.' He said, 'Well, you have to pick one,''' Nirenberg said.

In Florida, only those who declare a party are allowed to cast a vote in that party's presidential primary.

Nirenberg said he tried to explain to the poll worker that he should not vote on a party ballot because of his "no party affiliation" status.

Nirenberg said a second poll worker was called over who agreed that independents should not use party ballots, but said they had received instructions to the contrary.

"He said, 'Ya know, that is kind of funny, but it was what we were told.' … I was shocked when they told me that." Nirenberg said he went ahead and voted for John McCain.

Maybe the primary wasn't as "closed" as we were led to believe. Also a number of voters were told that there wasn't a Democratic primary today.

There's a property tax measure on the ballot, and the exit polls seemed to favor the economy as the top issue, and both of those points seem to favor Romney. However, my gut tells me that McCain is going to pull this one out. And he really has to, because he's broke.

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