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If it's a voting snafu, it must be in Florida

November 06, 2012|By Karin Klein
  • Most people in Florida realized that despite an erroneous phone message to some voters, Tuesday, not Wednesday, is election day.
Most people in Florida realized that despite an erroneous phone message… (David Santiago / Associated…)

The latest voting snafu out of Florida, a state that has so many such blunders and misdoings that one has to uses such phrases as "the latest one," is an automated phone system that told people Tuesday morning that the polls would close at 7 p.m. "tomorrow" -- i.e. Wednesday. Bottom line: More than 12,000 voters were essentially told that election day was tomorrow.

It seems an honest enough, if pretty dumb, mistake. Calls went out Monday to many voters, making the "tomorrow" correct. But without officials realizing it, thousands more calls were held in a queue and went out Tuesday morning. The mistake was discovered and a second call went out later in the morning, but residents complained to the Tampa Bay Tribune that local election officials didn't make it easy to report the error.

Of course, since officials don't really know when people will be hearing messages -- many Floridians aren't even answering the phone because, as swing-state voters, they have been inundated with political junk calls -- wouldn't it have made more sense in the first place to say "at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6"?

And the second question: Why is it almost always Florida?

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