Headed to the Polls

The democratic presidential race is over, but many Florida voters will to go the polls Tuesday to make their choice known anyway and to decide countless local issues from one end of the state to the other.

The state is ready for the biggest election since 2002, but there are still things you should know. At virtually every one of the more than 6,000 polling places in the state, voters will encounter petition gatherers, many with dueling petitions.

Mark Wilson from the Florida Chamber's Vote Smart project says don't be swayed by these paid signature collectors. You have rights.

"They should know that they have the right not to sign the petition, they should have the right to ask the petitioner questions. How much are you being paid for my signature?" says Wilson.

An organization that normally monitors third world elections chose the day before Florida's primary to announce that it would come to the state this November to monitor the Presidential election.

Pax Christi, the Catholic peace and justice organization, will have monitors in four Florida counties, Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Duval. All had serious problems in the 2000 election.

"The problems were basically with people of color. The people of color were denied voting," says Carol Ann Breyer, Pax Christi Florida coordinator.

Governor Jeb Bush downplayed the irony of monitors coming to Florida. He says what was broken has been fixed.

"To suggest otherwise is an effort I think that you will see from here to election time by liberal groups, and left wing groups to try to undermine people's confidence of something that they should not worry about," says Gov. Bush.

But to the rest of the world, the sights, sounds and confusion of the 2000 election remain and will until Florida proves the problems have been fixed this time around.

State elections officials are expecting a very low turnout Tuesday, perhaps as low as ten percent.


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