I just got off the phone with the USA Today, checked my email, and Tova Wang dropped me this story from the St. Petersburg Times.
Even though the “official” date that absentee ballots are supposed to be mailed in Florida is a week away (Dec. 25th by my calculations), I guess, like tax day, that is just the deadline. County officials are getting those ballots out earlier. In fact, it looks like Florida law simply specifies the final date by which ballots should arrive, not any date before which they cannot be mailed.
Thus, according to one county official, “Everyone’s focused on Iowa and New Hampshire, but I can attest that as of Monday there are 604 people in Pasco that have already voted.” The Pasco absentee ballots were mailed on December 12th!
Are you wondering who those 604 voters are? I sure am, so I browsed right over to this website (https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/fvrscountyballotreports/fvrsefilings.aspx) but this provides access to the early in person and not the absentee ballot reports. To get to the absentee ballot requests (but not returns? why not?) you have to meet these criteria (Michael McDonald and I, not jokingly, once talked about registering so we could gain access):
- a canvassing board
- an election official
- a political party or official thereof
- a candidate who has filed qualification papers and is opposed in an upcoming election
- registered political committees
- registered committees of continuous existence