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Hernando Political Notebook: How to be ready for Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, and voters have plenty of choices to make among federal, state and local races; state constitutional amendments; and local referendum questions.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A few reminders from elections officials:

By law, voters must vote in their assigned precinct. They must also have an approved form of photo and signature identification, such as a driver's license or state identification card. The complete list of acceptable forms of ID can be found at hernando votes.com.

Those who do not have a proper form of identification will still be able to vote, but must vote a provisional ballot. If a voter's signature on a provisional ballot matches the signature on record at the Supervisor of Elections Office, the canvassing board will approve the ballot and it will be counted.

Federal races on the ballot include president, Senate and House District 11. State races include House District 34, House District 35, the merit retention of three Florida Supreme Court justices and 11 amendments to the Florida Constitution.

Local races include sheriff, supervisor of elections, three seats on the County Commission, one seat on the School Board, two county referendum questions, one seat on the Brooksville City Council and two proposed city charter changes.

With such a long ballot — two pages, double-sided — officials have said some people may have to wait in line to vote. For those who want to avoid lines, they recommend not voting during the typically busy times, which are from 7 to 9 a.m., noon to 2 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m.

Officials said that when the polls close, anyone who is in line at the proper polling place and is eligible to vote will be allowed to cast a ballot. For information, visit hernandovotes.com or call (352) 754-4125.

Thousands vote early

Early voting ended Saturday, and by mid afternoon Friday, the Supervisor of Elections Office reported that more than a quarter of the county's 123,332 registered voters had already cast ballots.

Staffers reported 10,148 early voters and 23,900 absentee voters. That is 27.6 percent of the registered voters.

In the presidential election of 2008, 76 percent of Hernando's registered voters cast ballots.

Local backing for Barr

Perennial candidate Brian Moore, who ran for president in 2008 on the Socialist ticket, isn't on the ballot this year. But the 69-year-old Spring Hill resident sure is pleased about one of the third-party options.

Moore has endorsed comedian Roseanne Barr, the presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party. Barr and Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004, are on the ballot in California, Colorado and Florida. They are also running write-in campaigns in more than two dozen other states.

In a news release last week, Moore said Barr could play a spoiler role in the election, and "such an outcome wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing."

"Over the past five years, the two major parties and their sponsors on Wall Street have disrupted the lives of millions of ordinary Americans," he said. "Turnabout is fair play. President Obama has done little for struggling working-class Americans."

Where to find results

Those interested in monitoring voting results as they come in Tuesday night after the polls close have several options:

• For local results, watch Hernando County Government Broadcast on Bright House Channel 622 or visit hernando votes.com.

• For state results, visit the Florida Division of Elections website, enight.elections.myflorida.com.

• Updates and coverage will be available throughout the evening on the Times website, tampabay.com.

Blog profiles Werder

Comedy Central's political blog gave some electronic ink last week to another name familiar to many Hernando voters: H. David Werder, the Spring Hill Democrat known as "the flagpole sitter," who is making his seventh bid for Congress.

In a series called "One of a Kind Candidates," writer Dan Poppy notes how Werder sat on top of a flagpole for 439 days in the 1980s to protest the high price of gasoline.

"The logistics boggle," Poppy writes. "Did he get timeouts? How many buckets on a rope did he have, and how many functions did each bucket serve? Does OPEC even know about his defiant pole sitting?"

This time around, Werder faces Republican incumbent Rep. Rich Nugent of Spring Hill.

Poppy mentions one of Werder's primary platform planks.

"Even though he's a Democrat, he wants the U.S. to suck every drop of energy we can out of these amber waves of grain," Poppy writes. "Yes, yes, he wants renewable energy, as any socialist French anchor baby should, but he also relates to the cigar-smoking sorts by calling for an increase in onshore and offshore drilling."

To find the piece, go to indecisionforever.com and search for "Werder."

Staff writers Barbara Behrendt and Tony Marrero contributed to this report.

Hernando Political Notebook: How to be ready for Election Day 11/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 12:55pm]
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