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Lengthy Ballot Could Suppress Voter Turnout

Tom Flanigan

The ballot facing Florida voters this year keeps getting longer. Leon County’s top elections official worried that could cause voter fatigue well before Election Day.

There will be statewide contests, multiple constitutional amendments, perhaps some county charter proposals. Leon Elections Supervisor Mark Earley is growing concerned.

“This is getting to be a very big ballot, even the number of local races on the ballot has mushroomed quite a bit with all the intrigue going on, so there’s just a lot for voters to tackle,” he pointed out.

And despite a recent surge of local voter registrations, the massive ballot could wind up discouraging voters.

“We have so many pages to get through, it comes to a head on Election Day and causes real-world problems as we’ve seen in Florida. We just have to be judicious as to what we put on the ballot,” he added.

But that’s for the future. For this year’s election, Earley suggested more voting by mail and for those who vote in person to have their choices figured out in advance of entering the polling place.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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