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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Voting so far so good, Browning says



Voting across Florida is off to a smooth start, Secretary of State Kurt Browning said Tuesday morning, with only a couple of early morning miscues. He said one precinct in Palm Beach County opened an hour late because a precinct clerk insisted on finishing paperwork before unlocking the doors. Some voters were turned away as a result, he said, but "that situation was quickly rectified." In one Leon County precinct, a late opening was the result of locks being changed on a building.

"We are ready," Browning said. There were scattered reports of lines, but he said waits were no more than about 20 minutes.

The former Pasco County election supervisor said he did not foresee a very late night awaiting returns, because ballots are counted as they are cast at the nearly 7,000 precincts across the state. But if many returns are still not in by 10 p.m., he'll "start pacing the floor." Browning said returns on the state Web site may take a little longer to post because some counties prefer to put the numbers on their own Web sites first. Counties are required to send their results to the state by 11:59 p.m.

Browning urged voters who see problems or have questions can call their county supervisor of elections or the state voter assistance hot line, at 1-866-308-6739. The line received about 350 calls by about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

During a Browning press briefing Monday, an alarm began wailing. Tuesday, as he spoke, a loud construction noise made Browning difficult to hear. "I apologize," he said. "As long as we have problems here and nowhere else, it's all right."


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:45pm]


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