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Crist Extends Early Voting Hours in Fla.

By Mary Pat Flaherty
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today extended voting hours at the state's 267 early voting sites and declared that a "state of emergency exists" due to record turnouts and hours-long waits at many locations.

The voting sites, which had been open only eight hours a day and a combined eight hours on weekends, will now be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Friday, as well as for a total of 12 hours between 7 a.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday, when Florida's early voting ends.

Early voting started Oct. 20 and as of Tuesday morning, 1.2 million of the state's 11.3 million registered voters had voted. Heavy turnout is forecast to continue, Crist said.

Crist invoked the state's Elections Emergency Act during his announcement Tuesday afternoon, saying, "I have a responsibility to the voters of our state to ensure that the maximum number of citizens can participate in the electoral process, and that every person can exercise the right to vote."

Without the extension, Crist said, residents could have been deprived of their right to vote and local officials may not have had a chance to run an orderly election, thanks to a combination of the high turnout, many new voters and the use of new optical scan voting equipment in 15 counties.

Crist's executive order did not include extra money for counties to cover the added hours.

"I have spoken with the Secretary of State and members of the Florida Legislature and have concluded that it is always the right thing to do to give voters every opportunity to cast a ballot," Crist said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 28, 2008; 6:51 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Battlegrounds , The Voters  
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I'm a liberal and an Obama supporter and a Floridian and I must say . . .

Crist is a pretty good guy. Good job on the extended hours.

Posted by: neon_bunny | October 29, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse


The long lines at the polls open for early voting, combined with sporadic reports of electronic voting machine snafus and a predictable tightening of national polls, presage the Election Day story -- another long day's journey into night?

The Obama-Biden campaign better have kept tens of millions in reserve for legal challenges to alleged voter suppression and vote count irregularities.

Dems may rue the day they failed to press for a legislatively-mandated voter-verified paper trail.

Little has been written about the vitriol of GOP direct mail pieces sent out in recent days. To quote from a mailing from the GOP of PA:

"Barack Obama: Not Who You Think He Is." "Soft on crime."
"He acted more as a friend to criminals than to cops..."

Fear, smear and backroom machinations: Here we go again?




Posted by: scrivener50 | October 29, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

For any of you that haven't heard Obama's 2001 "Wealth Redistribution" taped comments for yourselves, here's the direct You Tube link so you can. You SHOULD! It's consistent with his recent "Joe the Plumber" comments.

Posted by: lightnin001 | October 29, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Anyone afraid of an Obama Presidency? Get over it. He will be President. The ground game is too strong. Even in a small mostly white town like Rolla Mo obama signs are everywhere. Obama have a strong ground game.

An old man told his grandson people like hannity and limbaugh can afford to pay more taxes don't be fooled again.

Posted by: r4147824 | October 28, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

For months now I have been reading the political comments posted by readers online and I have noticed that the extreme conservative Republicans are especially hateful, and most of them fill their comments with Rush Limbaugh sound bites. Rush Limbaugh has had way too much "freedom of speech" during these last 8 years, encouraged and allowed to do so by the Republican administration. Limbaugh has poisoned a large bloc of Republican citizens, keeping them trapped in an attitude 25 years out of date. He stokes their fears and amplifies their worst characteristics, driving them to see an enemy in everything out of the conservative box. This prevents these people from accepting the changes and advances of 21st century America, isolating them and making it harder and harder for them to live productive and happy lives. It is my hope that the Obama administration will rein in the poison conservative talk show faction, and the people who follow it and live by it can be healed of their unwarranted hate and bigotry.

To these people I say: there is no reason to be so hateful and fearful! Rush has it all wrong! This is a great country, full of good people, patriots all, and great possibilites for a happy and prosperous life. That neighbor whose views differ from yours is not a terrorist or a socialist or a communist, he's just the fellow American next door. Learn to feel love and hope and generousity. Stop fearing and hating. God bless America!

Posted by: corporatemediawatcher | October 28, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Heehee! Reading some of the wacko right wing comments on these boards is a perfect way to demonstrate exactly what is wrong with modern Republicanism.

Want to rise from the ashes of defeat? Here's the program:

1. We will dfend the U. S. A.

2. We will be careful with the taxpayers money and control spending.

3. We will not tell you how to live your life.

4. All Americans are welcome to our tent.

Get rid of the nutjobs, neo-fascists, the purposely ignorant and those waiting the rapture candidates. (They'll vote for you anyway).

Build a center-right fiscally conservative, socially moderate coalition and Americans will respond.

Your nation needs you.


Posted by: toritto | October 28, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama's admission that he's for redistribution of wealth has lead in these past few days instead to a redistribution of votes...down to 2% lead in Gallup traditional, 4% IBD, 5% Rasmusson and Zogby, and falling.

Posted by: thecannula | October 28, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Aldol spewed: "acorn and obama are using the same techniques that Hitler and Lenin and, to a certain extent Chavez, used to gain power"

Brilliant analysis. Playtime is over. Back to your room.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 28, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"Something is rotten in the State of Florida"

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 28, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words...

Mischief is afoot!

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 28, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

acorn and obama are using the same techniques that Hitler and Lenin and, to a certain extent Chavez, used to gain power.
They hire disenfranchised individuals to intimidate people at all levels of society in order to accede to the levers of power of local government first and of the Central government later.
once they gain power they reduce civil liberties to all political enemies, to the press and independent media.
i can see this happening here in the US if Obama wins as it appears to be likely

Posted by: Aldol | October 28, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

McLame will lose Florida this time round.

Get over it.


Posted by: toritto | October 28, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

It makes sense. Our country has so many more people NOW than it did years ago, and it would stand to reason that volume alone is going to overwhelm an antiquated voting system.

Every state should enact early voting with daily hours of operation. The vast majority know by now who we're voting for anyway and in this day and age, using voter volume as an excuse to deny anyone the right to cast their ballot because time ran out, is a pretty lame excuse.

Posted by: smsbks | October 28, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I have the Gift!

I foresee Floriduh;


A PROMINENT Power in the US Election!

Voter fraud!

Months, of Re-Counts and Registration Verifications!

With Ohio, sharing the Glory!

Wonder what the odds are in Vegas?

LOL! The O'bombasamabots might as well go out and do their multiple voting thingy now(Which SHOULD mean NO Vote allowed if it occurs), What with Rezco, Ayers, Wright, Michelle, Cocaine, Marxist Leanings, and so much else;

Not even being caught in a Homosexual Child Rape Murder could swing one of the Messiah's followers!

After all, he is NOT a Republican! Sheesh!

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 28, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Jews that support Israel are voting McCAIN.

Cuban Americans are voting for McCAIN.

Voters against INFANTICIDE vote McCAIN.

Military are voting McCAIN.

Floridians that love America vote McCAIN.

PUMAs are voting Palin .

Bette Miller ... YOU DON'T OWN ME , OBAMA

Posted by: RaZoR777 | October 28, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Crist might be bailing on McLame.

The GOP originally set the shorter early voting hours. It usually works to supress voting in S. E. Florida which is heavily concentrated with Dems.

Notwithstanding the shorter hours, voters had turned out by the thousands and complaints came flooding in about the arbitrary hours.

Crist probably looked at the polls and his own future and decided "every Floridian should have the opportunity to vote"



Posted by: toritto | October 28, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Gov. Crist for doing the right thing! Florida has reason to be proud of their election operations this year.

Posted by: kfhoz | October 28, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Over 20% of registered voters have already cast ballots in Florida.


Posted by: toritto | October 28, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

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