Leon County Early Voting

With Super Tuesday sealing up the nomination for Sen. John Kerry, some political watchers are predicting a drop in voters for states still yet to hold their presidential primaries, including Florida.

Still, here in Tallahassee, voters are going to the Leon County Courthouse to cast their early ballots.

The City of Tallahassee Municipal Elections Referendum is on this ballot as well, and the Supervisor of Elections Office says that’s got a lot to do with so many early voters still coming out.

Comparing early voting in March 2000 to March 2004, the numbers may be surprisingly high considering the presidential primary has basically been decided. The Leon County Elections Office has an explanation.

Janet Olin, Assistant Leon County Supervisor of Elections says, “The Municipal Referendum is gaining enough interest that out voter turnout is 150-percent higher than March 2000.”

The voters at the early polls agree. C. Paul Nelson, a Leon County voter says, “I want to give my preference also, and this is the only way I can do that. And I wanted to vote on the fall election.”

If the Municipal Referendum is passed, the city elections will be held in the fall along with the local, state, and federal elections.

Citizens are going to have to wait until Tuesday and see who wins the presidential primary and which way the referendum goes.

Olin says, "We would not be able to tell results as far as that goes. That's contained until 7 p.m. election night, but we certainly are seeing voters turn out."

Nelson says, “I believe people should get on down here and vote.”

Early voting will be going on Saturday at the Leon County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Only city residents can vote in the referendum, and it doesn’t matter what party they are affiliated with.

Not holding the Florida primary on Super Tuesday or sooner is a decision made by state lawmakers. This is how it was in 2000 as well, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be argued on the floor any time soon.