Report: Florida voters weren't confused in 2012

Published Feb. 7, 2013

TALLAHASSEE — Florida's handing of last year's election has been the target of criticism and will probably spark changes, but elections officials say in a new report that there's no indication of voter confusion.

The report shows that the number and percentage of people who cast invalid votes for president remained nearly the same as four years ago.

State elections officials using voting data from all 67 counties found that the number of people who cast ballots that included invalid votes in the presidential race was 0.75 percent, or 63,645 people. Back in 2008, there were 63,780 invalid votes. This number includes those who wrote the wrong name on the ballot, left the ballot blank or voted for more than one candidate. It does not include an estimated 17,000 provisional ballots that were rejected.

"There is nothing in the compiled presidential contest data to indicate that there was voter confusion during the election," says the report issued by the Department of State.

President Barack Obama won Florida and its 29 electoral votes by slightly more than 74,000 votes over GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

One trend noted in the report: The percentage of people voting on Election Day dropped significantly between 2010 and this past November. A majority of voters chose to either vote early or cast an absentee ballot.