20 August 2004

National Guard members to vote by fax

Dara Kam - The Palm Beach Post - Aug. 20, 2004

TALLAHASSEE — National Guard members who vote in the 10 Florida counties ravaged by Hurricane Charley will be able to cast their ballots by fax machine under an “elections emergency” declared Thursday by Gov. Jeb Bush.

A story in The Palm Beach Post today incorrectly said all voters in the 10 counties hit by Charley were eligible to vote by fax machine. That decision applies only to Florida National Guard members in the area.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Glenda Hood, who toured the hardest-hit counties — DeSoto, Charlotte and Hardee — said she was confident the primary would be held as scheduled in all counties.

[...] Bush's order said that although no county reported damage to voting systems or ballots, the counties are “still in the process of assessing the availability of poll workers and the damage to any equipment and polling places for the conduct of the state primary on Aug. 31.”

His order also allows the suspension of early voting in the 10 affected counties. Early voting began Monday throughout the state and is under way in all of the affected counties except Charlotte.

[...] Elections workers in Hardee County, already battered by Charley and further devastated by the death of Elections Supervisor Dean Cullins in the aftermath of the storm, are distributing fliers in English and Spanish, and delivering absentee ballots to people in shelters, Faraj said.

Bush has not yet reopened qualifying for Democrats to replace Cullins, who was running unopposed.


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