Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Voter flies in from New York to make her ballot count

Carol Filingeri, 49, holds the envelope in which she received her ballot at the Pasco County Government Center on Monday.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Carol Filingeri, 49, holds the envelope in which she received her ballot at the Pasco County Government Center on Monday.

After several unsuccessful hours spent trying to get her Florida absentee ballot Saturday, Carol Filingeri stood in New York's West Village and vowed that somehow, her vote would count.

"If I have to fly down there, I will," Filingeri, a registered Pasco County voter, told herself.

Three hundred dollars on plane tickets and 10 hours of traveling later, Filingeri, 49, was in New Port Richey on Monday, handing in her absentee ballot.

"This is a huge opportunity to be a part of history," she said.

Filingeri moved from Auckland, New Zealand, to New York on Thursday to be closer to her parents in New Port Richey — a 2 1/2-hour flight sure beats 20 hours in the air.

In the haste of the cross-world move, she never sent in for her absentee ballot.

"I'm a bit of a procrastinator," Filingeri said.

Her parents, Julia and Salvatore Filingeri, both 80, tried to send their daughter an absentee ballot Saturday, but missed the last mail pickup.

Filingeri, a registered independent, wasn't going to sit this one out.

"This is a very important election," she said.

Filingeri grew up in Levittown, N.Y., and moved to New Zealand 20 years ago for a relationship that didn't pan out. ("That's a long story.") She worked as a recruiter and kept up on American happenings through the Internet and slightly out-of-date issues of the New Yorker.

Today, she returns to New York, where she plans to spend a year before returning to New Zealand.

After two decades of living there, she said she has gained insight into how America is viewed abroad.

"In general, people like Americans," she said. "But people are bewildered by American politics and how America acts in the international community."

Filingeri said she voted for Barack Obama on Monday.

"It seems so obvious to me when I look at the state of our country," she said. "It's like me coming to vote — when he sees an obstacle, he'll find a way around it."

Brian Corley, Pasco County supervisor of elections, spoke to Filingeri Saturday as she tried to secure her absentee ballot. She called him Monday morning to say she flew to Florida to cast her vote.

"I was amazingly impressed," he said. "That's something I'll be telling my grandchildren about."

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Voter flies in from New York to make her ballot count 11/03/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 6:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs

    Blogs

    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  2. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo

    College

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.
  3. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  4. Pinellas votes 7-0 to help sue Legislature over new law favoring charter schools

    K12

    LARGO — They said they had no choice but to do it. They said they would rather reach a compromise.

    Gov. Rick Scott, right, kicks off the 2017 legislative session on March 7 in Tallahassee. Scott later signed a massive education bill that is being challenged by several school districts. On Tuesday, Pinellas became one of them. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

    Jennie Card, 44, was arrested on two counts of animal cruelty after deputies said they found her injured animals at her Spring Hill residence.[Courtesy of Hernando County Sheriff's Office]