Voters reject 8 of 11 constitutional changes | Nov. 7
Florida voters did their homework
I have to admit I had been concerned that the average person would not be interested, informed or diligent enough to understand the candidates and issues well enough to cast a valid vote. I thought a very good indicator this time would be the outcome of the 11 constitutional initiatives.
But the numbers indicate that there was a great grasp of the issues and that people made informed and intelligent choices; there was no indication of randomness in the numbers.
My trust in my fellow voter has been revived, and our future is in good hands. Thanks and admiration to everyone who honestly wrestled with the issues and stood in long lines to make their good citizenship count.
David N. Shadd, Clearwater
Many polls didn't predict tight race | Nov. 8
Think twice about polls
Now that the presidential election is over, we can see how significantly wrong the polls conducted by Mason-Dixon and published by the Tampa Bay Times were at predicting the results of the presidential election, both statewide and in the I-4 corridor.
I am not saying that the Times should not conduct and publish polls. But when the results of your polls are so widely different from the results of almost all other polling organizations (which they were), the Times should think twice. The Times should have seen that something was way off and found a new pollster.
Stuart Fraser, Gulfport
Voters weren't deterred
Congratulations to President Barack Obama and all the Florida voters who continued to hang on to hope after the paper declared a win for Mitt Romney a week ago. You showed you had resilience and resolve to get out and vote for the president and give him the opportunity to lead this great nation of ours. You sifted through all the misleading ads and mailings sent by the Republican Party and made your vote count.
We need to let our representatives know we are tired of their gridlock and filibustering and to work with the president to solve this fiscal crisis. Let your voices be heard and we can help steer this country back to prosperity and the esteem it deserves in the eyes of the world.
Paul Chmura, Spring Hill
Florida, the state of embarrassment Nov. 8, editorial
The national buffoon
Once again, Florida is the whole country's stupid cousin. On Wednesday morning, fully 12 hours after the last polls closed in the Panhandle, Florida hadn't finalized its vote count. New Jersey and New York, both responding to a massive natural disaster, managed to complete their vote counts despite thousands of their citizens voting in tents by flashlight.
Even Washington, D.C., with one of the most incompetent and inefficient municipal governments in the world, completed its vote count.
And Florida? It's the national buffoon, butt of a million snide jokes. Why can't we do this?
Wayne Griffith, St. Petersburg
Rove refuses to accept Fox News analysts' view | Nov. 7
Ballots, not bank accounts
One of the great underappreciated victories of the presidential election is the defeat of all the extreme, monied benefactors of the PAC machines, exemplified by Karl Rove's meltdown on Fox News. His nonacceptance of the Mitt Romney loss reflects his all-consuming belief that he is the ultimate political guru who, given enough money, could not lose.
His political bible is the philosophy expressed in Machiavelli's The Prince. It is his road map toward proper governance. The premise of one key essay in that collection, viewed in today's world, is that voters are wicked, simple and obedient, and therefore easily deceived by a prince capable of acting as a "great hypocrite and dissembler" who "cannot, must not, keep his word."
I hope that Rove is now having the daunting task of trying to explain to his "princes" that there are "reasons to color over his failure to keep his word" that their money would buy victory. Thankfully we are still a country that values the power of voters, not bank accounts.
Arthur Eggers, Tampa
Love of liberty
This election brought tears to the eyes of this hardened cynic. New Yorkers and voters from New Jersey voted in tents and other makeshift structures, using flashlights and hugging themselves against the chill winds. West Virginians, braving the cold and difficulties of being without electrical power, still rose early and drove considerable distances to exercise their American freedom of self-government. Such stories rolled across our country on Tuesday.
I won't bother to say whom I voted for. Because, despite the harsh rhetoric and sharp divisions of this last campaign, it still comes down to Americans' love of liberty and care for their communities and country.
Let's admire the pluck and perseverance of these people of many persuasions. With such dedication, surely we can find a way to come together and work with and for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people — real people, that is, not trumped-up organizations. This is America coming back to her roots.
Nan Owens, Seffner
Get back on track
The people did their job in this election, showing up strongly and having to overcome various obstacles to vote their choice. They chose to re-elect President Barack Obama, showing their support and confidence that he is more attuned with the majority of our country rather than favoring certain classes of Americans.
Now it is up to Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to work together as well as work with President Obama for the common good and welfare of all Americans in fair taxation, affordable health care, generating employment and improving our economy. I hope and pray the next four years will bring us the bipartisan government we voters have been long awaiting and will get this country back on track.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
I hope our Legislature learned something Tuesday. The presidential election was decided without Florida's influence.
These guys have deluded themselves about how "important" Florida is. Maybe they'll get the hint and move our primary back to where it belongs.
William Ott, Clearwater