Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Vote myths are hard to kill in this election

TALLAHASSEE — Before you vote, remember: Don't believe everything you hear.

Widespread myths bouncing around the Internet claim Florida voters will be turned away at the polls for wearing candidate garb such as an Obama T-shirt or McCain cap, and that the address on a voter's driver's license must match the one on a voter registration card.

Neither is true.

Younger voters in particular are alarmed about the falsehoods. An e-mail distributed to students and employees from an employee in the financial aid office at Florida State University wrongly blamed Gov. Charlie Crist and said: "The Republicans are using every trick in the book to prevent change from taking place."

But it's not true. Secretary of State Kurt Browning's office sent clarifying letters to all 67 Florida election supervisors: "Merely going to the polls wearing campaign paraphernalia is okay," it said.

State elections chief Donald Palmer issued a memo on the address issue. "It does not matter what their ID says with respect to their address. … The voter must vote in the precinct where they live, regardless of whether that address is on their ID."

Neither memo was issued publicly at the time, but Browning's spokeswoman said the address issue was highlighted in an op-ed piece by Browning that ran in several major Florida newspapers, and that the state has sent the memos to many schoolteachers.

"We're doing everything we can," spokeswoman Jennifer Krell Davis said. "It won't die. It's the weirdest thing."

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said sending those warnings to all of the media might have defused the false rumors faster.

"This is a statewide issue. Where's the statewide reaction?" Sancho asked.

Florida has a voter assistance hotline, 1-866-308-6739, to handle election law questions.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected] or at (850) 224-7263.

Vote myths are hard to kill in this election 10/01/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 9:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  2. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.
  3. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  4. UF president Kent Fuchs: 'Charlottesville changed everything' (w/video)

    K12

    GAINESVILLE — Wednesday evening, hazy rumors of an impending Neo-Nazi march reached some wary protesters. A few quickly rallied to denounce the marchers in downtown Gainesville, only to find plazas empty but for police.

    University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs talks with reporters Wednesday about white nationalist Richard Spencer's planned speech on Thursday. He said of Spencer: "In a small way, he is causing us to redouble our focus on supporting actions that are the opposite of what he wants." [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Kenya vote chief says 'difficult' to have credible election

    World

    NAIROBI, Kenya — It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness," the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy.