Early voting? I want mine to count

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Column by Jim Clark

Time for my regular rant about voting in Florida, and it’s not what you might think. I go against supervisors of elections, editors and, yes, even some publishers with my election opinions.
I received my sample ballot for next week’s Republican Presidential Primary last Saturday. It had all the usual stuff, including all the presidential candidates who have dropped out of the race since the ballot was printed.
But there was something else that drives me crazy. It said that early voting had started, and it gave a list of early voting sites.
I have never voted early, and I never will. I have no idea what happens to my votes when I cast them early and they sit there for 10 days before suddenly emerging to be counted. I don’t want my vote lost in oblivion somewhere … I want it to count.
I kind of remember that old Chicago saying ... vote early and vote often.
For years and years we got along without early voting … we can do so now.
Don’t give me this stuff about making it available to more people. There have been absentee ballots. available for years, and they still are. If you can’t be here on Election Day, get an absentee ballot.
Yes, I want everyone who is eligible to vote, but only on Jan. 31.
Another rule that’s posted on the sample ballot is the one that requires all voters to produce a photo ID and signature ID at the polls to be eligible to vote. For most people, that’s a simple thing called a driver’s license. And if for some reason you’re not driving, it’s easy to get a Florida ID card.
Why do people have a problem with that?
It’s got nothing to do with the various discrimination claims that some people make. It has everything to do with preventing election fraud.
What’s really interesting is that it says you must have the photo ID even if the poll workers know you. That’s just another safety move to prevent cronyism, dead people voting, etc.
So get ready to get out there on Jan. 31, if you’re eligible, and cast your ballot. Your vote counts … I think.

Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at editor@smcitizen.com or by phone at 352-854-3986.

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