When a voter votes with an absentee ballot and submits it, but dies before the day of the election, does that vote count?
Yes, according to officials from Pinellas and Pasco counties' supervisor of elections offices.
The law can be found in the 2008 Florida State Statutes, 101.6103, title IX, paragraphs 5 and 8 (www.flsenate.gov/Statutes).
A ballot shall be counted only if: (a) It is returned in the return mailing envelope; (b) The elector's signature has been verified as provided in this subsection; and (c) It is received by the supervisor of elections not later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election.
The supervisor of elections shall verify the signature of each elector on the return mailing envelope with the signature on the elector's registration records. . . . If the supervisor of elections determines that an elector to whom a replacement ballot has been issued under subsection (4) has voted more than once, the canvassing board shall determine which ballot, if any, is to be counted.
A ballot that otherwise satisfies the requirements of subsection (5) shall be counted even if the elector dies after mailing the ballot but before election day, as long as, prior to the death of the voter, the ballot was: (a) Postmarked by the United States Postal Service; (b) Date-stamped with a verifiable tracking number by common carrier; or (c) Already in the possession of the supervisor of elections.
Reprocessing nuclear waste
Does France or any country with numerous nuclear power plants have a permanent solution for dealing with the waste?
France does not have a national, permanent facility to store its nuclear waste. But unlike the United States, it reprocesses much of the waste.
France, which gets more than 70 percent of its power from nuclear plants, uses surface repositories, on-site storage pools and large reprocessing sites to deposit its waste. Some of it is sent to Germany. France's nuclear waste agency is researching how to store high-level radioactive material for extended periods of time deep underground.
But it is reprocessing that sets the country, and its 59 reactors, apart from the United States. The procedure extends uranium's power significantly, and France reprocesses spent fuel from several other countries, including Japan and Belgium.
Reprocessing in the United States was banned by President Ford in 1976, but reinstated by President Reagan in 1981, though no federal funding was established. The federal government has began turning Nevada's Yucca Mountain into a permanent storage facility for nuclear fuel. But the project has run into stiff opposition from citizens' groups and some politicians, including Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader in the Senate.