Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida voters, including The Offlede, head to polls

This is the "presidential preference primary ballot" sent to me a few weeks ago by the Brevard County supervisor of elections. The choices for president: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo or Fred Thompson. I'm torn between Alan Keyes and Tom Tancredo.


I'm excited.

Today is Super Tuesday. No, it's Super Duper Tuesday. No, it's Giga Tuesday. No, it's The Tuesday of Destiny. No, it's Tsunami Tuesday (all on Wikipedia).

Actually, it's more like
Trivial Tuesday (my creation).

But officially, today is "presidential preference" Tuesday, the primary election for the state of Florida - at least, for Republicans.

Florida Democrats, having moved up its primary along with the Republicans, were disenfranchised: The national party promised to take away their voice at the Democratic National Convention as punishment for the move. So no matter whom Democrats vote for, it won't count.

Republicans, however, still have some say. Rudy Giuliani has "put all his eggs into the Florida basket" by focusing his primary efforts on Florida, hoping that victory here will translate into victory elsewhere on the real Super Tuesday next week. Democrats haven't campaigned here at all. I guess it's just a poor time to be a Florida Democrat.

But it's still a big day for all, especially if you own a home here. A ballot question will ask voters if they would like to approve a constitutional amendment for property tax breaks. There are many boring facets to it. But since I'm not a homeowner, I don't care all that much. Gov. Charlie Crist touts it as the Yellow Brick Road leading to the Emerald City of real estate markets. I suppose Florida could use that because real estate here, in a word, sucks. My roommate, who owns my rented room, has been trying to sell his house since I moved in. But no one has even looked at it.

But the real funny thing about the ballot question is that it's not really a question. It just gives the wording of the amendment and gives the voter a choice "yes" or "no." I smell another hanging chad issue coming on. (Click on the above ballot for a larger view.)

There's also a question about a tax cap on county money. But, if approved, it won't really do anything - only give lawmakers the go-ahead to pursue the next step. Sounds like politics at its best.

I haven't made up my mind on any of the GOP candidates for president. Nor have I decided yes or no on any of the questions.

It looks like a game-time decision.

I'll get up early to vote, then head to FLORIDA TODAY, where I will put in overtime on my usual day off to edit stories about this whole ordeal. The word is that we'll get free food. And I'll probably make a few blog posts from the newsroom. For me, it's exciting because I'm a resident of a state that actually holds sway in a national election. Maine, however, has a measly four electoral votes. Florida has 27.

Stay tuned.


Brevard County voting demographics, as I see them:
  • A bit more than 300,000 voters
  • Mostly white
  • Mostly old and retired
  • A good mix of Republicans and Democrats, truly at the crossroads of a more conservative North Florida and more liberal (and Northern) South Florida

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