Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco elections supervisor says early voting information from Democratic group is misleading

COUNTYWIDE

Elections chief: early voting info misleading

Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley is warning voters about potentially misleading early voting information after his office received hundreds of inquiries from voters Tuesday wanting to cast early ballots. Early voting in Florida doesn't begin until Oct. 27 and lasts through Nov. 3. Corley traced one of the complaints to a robocall from Organizing for America, an arm of the Democratic Party. OFA spokesman Eric Jotkoff said the call refers to a program where voters can request an absentee ballot at the elections office and fill it out on the spot. Corley said that program is known as a "carry-out absentee ballot," which is available now. But he said some voters specifically mentioned early voting. "It is causing, I would say, massive confusion," Corley said. "The problem is the message going out is severely misleading." Jotkoff provided the Times with a copy of the robocall script, which does not use the term "early voting." This issue arose a day after Corley took a complaint from a voter about an OFA volunteer who initially said he worked for the elections office. The man told the voter there was a problem with her voter registration status, though officials confirmed her registration is fine. Corley said voters should call his office toll-free at 1-800-851-8754 if they have questions about their registration status. Voters can also check that information at pascovotes.com.

District won't have to make up day

Thanksgiving break will remain a full week for Pasco County students and school employees. The school district will not have to make up the Aug. 27 school day that was lost to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac. The Florida Department of Education determined that the district already provides enough instructional time throughout the year without having to offer another day of classes.

PORT RICHEY

City delays move to relax burn ban

Efforts to relax the city's burn ban have been placed on hold. Last month, the City Council gave initial support to a measure that would allow owners of large properties to burn debris, a departure from the citywide burn ban that's been in place since 1996. Port Richey fire Chief Tim Fussell proposed the change in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby, when owners of three large properties had difficulty clearing fallen tree limbs and other debris because they cannot be reached by the city's debris pickup crews. But last week, Vice Mayor Bill Colombo expressed concern that the change could open the door for other burning that the council doesn't intend. The council settled on a plan for City Attorney Joseph Poblick to review the proposed change to make sure it doesn't ease commercial burning restrictions and to establish penalties for violators.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Celebration of Torah set Monday

Beth-El Shalom Messianic Congregation will host Post-Simcha Torah, a celebration of the Torah, at 7 p.m. Monday. The congregation is at 6209 Congress St., just south of Main Street. For information or to pre-register, call (727) 375-7502 or e-mail [email protected]

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