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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Not all Florida ballots are equal



Bad news if you are under 21 and voted with a provisional ballot at the poll for Florida's Aug. 14 primary: There's a 29 percent chance your vote didn't count. If you are Hispanic and voted a provisional ballot, there's a 33 percent chance. Statewide, 22 percent of all provisional ballots weren't counted in the primary. And nearly 2 percent of all absentee ballots that were returned to elections offices weren't counted.

Those are among the findings from a pair of professors -- University of Florida's Daniel A. Smith and Dartmouth College's Michael C. Herron -- who mined the state's voter files to determine how many provisional and absentee ballots were tossed in the primary and what kind of voter cast them. It suggests that with record-setting mail-in ballots cast and a host of new voter rules that will increase the number of provisional ballots used in the Nov. 6 general election, tossed ballot rates may only get higher.

Read full op-ed, which was printed in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times.

[Last modified: Monday, October 29, 2012 3:38pm]


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