Voter Awareness in Florida

The chaos of the 2000 elections changed the way the state of Florida deals with voting. New machines, new procedures and simplified ballots are all ready to go for this fall's elections.

Election year 2000 brings memories of hanging chads, manual recounts and national scrutiny on Florida's election system. These are memories that Florida election supervisors would like to forget.

Ion Sancho, Leon County Supervisor of Elections, says, "Much of the errors made in the 2000 election were not as the result of level of intelligence. It was simply because of poor ballot design."

For this election ballots have been simplified and the state is spending over $3 million to educate voters and ease concerns.

Charles Evans of the NAACP says, "Just from our side is individuals getting disenchanted with the system because of what happened in 2000. That's why we have a very large push on the education and making it well known that these things will not happen."

There are three ways to vote in Florida. You can go to the precinct on election day, you can do early voting up to 15 days prior to election day or you can mail in your vote.

"Voting by mail is really the antidote to any voters who are concerned that the technology may not allow them to have a paper record and to do a manual recount," adds Sancho.

With all eyes on Florida this fall, a manual recount is exactly what election officials are trying to avoid.

To vote by mail all you have to do is request a ballot from your local election office.