Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State office is inundated with new voter registration forms

TALLAHASSEE — So many new voters want a say in the 2008 presidential election in Florida that the state needs help from counties to get all those new voters registered in time.

The state, which has managed voter registration since a statewide voter database went online in 2006, notified counties Wednesday that it will ship new applications to counties for processing. That will add to the counties' workloads less than six weeks before Election Day.

About 10.6-million were registered to vote for the August primary. But groups across the political spectrum have been rushing to sign up hundreds of thousands of new voters.

The number of applications has spiked during the past 10 days. On Tuesday alone, the state said, it received 25,000 registration forms. In August, 100,000 forms were submitted.

A team of 25 temporary state employees working 12- to 16-hour shifts can't keep up.

Secretary of State Kurt Browning said, "We're processing applications as fast and as accurately as we can, but you get to a point of diminishing returns."

State law requires forms to be processed within 13 days of receipt. The deadline to register for the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6. Mailed forms must reach the office by Oct. 13.

Some election supervisors have more faith in their own record keeping than the state's, and quickly answered the call.

Pinellas County's Deborah Clark offered to review not just forms from voters in her county but those from other counties if needed.

"We will give it our best effort," Clark told the state.

"We'll absolutely get it done," added Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson, whose office has a backlog of about 9,000 forms. "We're all one big team."

"Okaloosa County will take as many applications as you want to send us," Election Supervisor Pat Hollarn wrote from Fort Walton Beach.

A voter-registration group with ties to the Democratic Party says the state backlog was a result of Florida's much-debated requirement that driver's license numbers or the last four Social Security digits on voting applications must match numbers in government databases before an application is deemed a qualified voter.

"The extra effort to do the 'no match, no vote' work must be gumming up the system," said Brian Kettenring of ACORN, which claims to have registered 130,000 new voters.

Browning said the verification law was not to blame and said there's no backlog of unmatched voter forms at present.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho criticized Browning for not anticipating an avalanche of voter forms in an election with such high interest.

"The enthusiasm is immense, which is going to mean a tremendous workload," Sancho said.

In response, Browning said the state would process all of Leon County's voter registration forms.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

State office is inundated with new voter registration forms 09/24/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 3:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gay, black leaders speak about finding their place

    Relationships

    When Lillian Dunlap moved to Florida at age 52 in 1999 she could finally breathe. The journalism professor from the University of Missouri and the University of Indiana hadn't been able live openly as a gay woman until then. She had considered coming out before but never did.

    Terri Lipsey Scott (standing) welcomed panelists Bob Devin Jones, Desmond Clark, Lillian Dunlap, Trevor Pettiford and Sheree Greer. Moderator Nadine Smith not pictured.
  2. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  3. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  4. No tapes: Trump says he didn't record meetings with Comey

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday he "did not make" and doesn't have any recordings of his private conversations with ousted FBI Director James Comey, speaking up on Twitter after a month-long guessing game that began with him delivering an ominous warning and ended with his administration ensnared …

    President Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]