January 14th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
14 years ago

Early voting starts in Florida

(CNN) - Most of the Republican candidates may be focused on Michigan, which votes Tuesday, but voters in another key state headed to the polls this morning.

Florida’s official primary date is January 29, but early voting in the presidential primary starts today – and this morning, 37 locations across Central Florida opened for voting.

Voting has already started outside the polls in Florida. More than 206,000 Republicans, 163,000 Democrats and 52,000 unaffiliated voters who don't have party affiliation have asked for absentee ballots, along with. In comparison, fewer than 94,000 Democrats cast absentee ballots in 2004, when there was no Republican primary.

Early voting ends Sunday, January 27, although some counties will end it on Saturday, January 26.

Penalties from the national parties for Florida’s decision to hold its primaries early in the cycle mean that few White House hopefuls have spent time campaigning in the state. (One exception is Rudy Giuliani, who has wagered his candidacy on a strong showing in Florida, and is spending the day campaigning in the state.)

Florida’s delegate count has been halved by the national Republican Party, and eliminated completely by the Democrats, though many in the state expect it to be restored to full strength before the national party conventions this summer.

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Wayne, Greenville TX

    ...after which people will go to Cracker Barrel for their Early Bird Special.

    January 14, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Black Man, Tampa, FL

    Florida always manages to screw things up for voters. Our votes do not count in this lousy state. Florida screwed up Election 2000, and now they are doing the same in 2008. This state stinks of foul play.

    January 14, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Jack K.

    My, my, my.....

    Even without the service workers union–John Edwards is only slightly behind the "super starts".

    I told you guys not to give up yet!!

    There is a message out there. The flames are so intense–even the GOP leaders are responding by trying to establishment themselves as reformist for the middle class.

    The original messenger–like Coca Cola "the real thing" is still on message and gaining momentum again.


    Let's do another Iowa–but this time come in #1!!!

    John Edwards–the Original!

    January 14, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Saffta Wayland MA

    This is one of the more confusing commentaries I have read.

    First of all, the second paragraph needs to be proofed. It's a mess and raises more questions than it answers. Does it mean that there is no specific voting day in Florida? Can one vote at any time in those 37 polling places from now until January 29th? And the sentence that ends 'along with' trails off into nothingness. Something should follow that shouldn't it? And why are people voting outside the polling booths not inside?????

    Does the final paragraph mean that Florida will have no say at the national Democrat convention? How does that ensure a representative democracy?

    Also, caution should be used with the word 'polls'. It needs to be made clear whether official polling places are meant or opinion polls.

    The reader shouldn't have to pause to consider the writer's intent, it should be crystal clear.

    January 14, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Christian, Tampa FL

    As a Floridian, I'm planning to vote later this week. I am saddened that my vote won't translate to delegates, but proud that in the first ballot I will ever cast, I will vote for Barack Obama.

    January 14, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Jeff - Plainfield, IL

    Ah Florida – where your vote might or might not count...or it might count triple!

    These states using easily-hacked voting machines proven to be unreliable, with no paper receipt ballots should not participate in elections.

    January 14, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. G.T.O,

    Rudy promises to free Havana and free Matza balls for all.What a nice guy ha?

    January 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Rafael Richmond Virginia

    Go Rudy Giuliani 2008

    January 14, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Brenda

    I don't understand why they should be able to say maybe they'll half the delegates or maybe they won't. What is this dependent on, whether this will sway the winning candidate or not? This is as f- up as Michigan allowing registered Democrats vote for the Republican candidate.

    I'm voting for Mitt Romney. He's the best candidate.

    January 14, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Jack K.

    The most recent poll showing Clinton as the leader is from Quinnipiac University in New York.

    They see Florida as Palm Beach, Miami and Tampa.

    They don't see–the thousands of Floridians who only have cell phones. John Edwards does.

    They don't see–the thousands of former employees–who've lost decent paying state, municipal government jobs with benefits–that have been turfed to the private sector for cost improvements that never materialized. John Edwards does.

    They don't see the thousands of working poor families with children –some cases living with friends or relatives, sometimes giving up and heading north–because the unstable "seasonal" employment and low wages won't allow them to sustain, afford a home of their own. John Edwards does.

    They don't see the millions of children whose learning experience is limited to study and practice of the FCAT exams for 2/3 of the school year–just so the school can receive the necessary funding they need to function. No art, no music, no PE...pretty soon–no public school. John Edwards does.

    We've seen what the Clintons can do...we've seen what happens when our government leaders allow profit driven lobbyists–draft legislation for them that takes unfair advantage of its citizens. Wish I could think differently, but sadly, Obama is drafting the support of all the major DNC lobby/idea groups–and their massive donations. So that leaves John Edwards as a clear choice to truly begin something new in Washington.

    The polls don't mean beans. What matters–is the people who are unseen and unheard–stepping forward for a candidate they can feel proud to line up behind and–has kept, and will keeping on keeping his promises.

    If you're sick and tired of being sick and tired of your President and Congress–vote John Edwards.

    January 14, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Tom Davie

    The problem with michigan and florida is that you honestly cannot BAN those delegates , or the national conventions will forever have to be decided without every state participating, creating a SCANDAL that will last for eternity.

    So they will 'claim' its not allowed, then allow them to go to the convention anyways.

    January 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Mary

    I've already voted democratic, BUT you know what, I am SICK of the bickering. Get your act together folks. If you don't, there will be very small turnout. Neither of you look very attractive when attacking each other.

    January 14, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Ed Tallahassee FL!

    Why doesn't the DNC get it? When the Republicans lose Florida, they lose the presidency.

    The Republicans haven't won the Presidency without winning Florida since 1924. So you do the math, if the Democrats take Florida (#4), NY (#2) and California (#1) they have 3 of the 4 largest states in the Union (Texas is #3). If the Democrats win Florida a Republican win is almost impossible.

    So the DNC should try to get Florida Democrats out to vote, not make them think that the National Party doesn't care about them. Because right now it looks like the DNC doesn't like its Florida Voters, and not counting our delegates will suppress the Democrat vote in Florida, and make it harder to get the vote out for the General Election.

    That being said I’ll be at the Poles January and in November doing my civic duty, just like every election.

    January 14, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Ryan Theriot

    Everyone please vote for Ron Paul so that we do not have to get microchip implants and become slaves to a one world government. Thanks!

    January 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Sensible Cape Coral Fl

    C'mon Florida. Let's show the rest of the country we are not as dumb as they think we are. Let's NOT repeat 2000. We did a lot of damage to the country then so this is a chance to possibly undo some of it. Tell Guiliani we don 't need his kind of

    January 14, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Robert Albrecht, Woodbridge Va

    I love how they take away the delegates but now theres talk about giving them back. Yea thats sound judgement!

    January 14, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. julie-the garden state, nj

    Guiliani has proved himself through mayor of NYC, making the streets safer to walk at night. He put more teachers in the classroom and he specifically has a plan for presidency. I like his ideas for a health care savings plan, and cutting taxes. Go Rudy!

    January 14, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Attacked by the Establishment

    Come early and vote often! Since the Dems and the Rpubs for the most part are not requiring people to prove who they are with photo ID then we are guaranteed another crooked election this year. Hope the world is watching this democratic process! Ha Ha

    January 14, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Skyler

    Why are the Clinton backers and Obama backers acting like we are two different parties? If we don't change our opinions soon, we will end up putting another Republican in the white house.

    January 14, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Wayne, Greenville TX

    julie-the garden state, nj January 14, 2008 2:31 pm ET

    Guiliani has proved himself through mayor of NYC, making the streets safer to walk at night. He put more teachers in the classroom and he specifically has a plan for presidency. I like his ideas for a health care savings plan, and cutting taxes. Go Rudy!

    Julie – I don't know what rock in NJ you were under during Rudy's term in office, but when I lived there (before moving west in 1994), Rudy's administration was full of scandals and many New Yorkers had a very low opinion of Rudy. In fact, up until 9/10/2001, he was considered the lowest of the low.....

    January 14, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Jill L

    Rudy Giuliani scares me. This country WILL NOT CHANGE if he is elected.

    January 14, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Georgia

    Trust me, florida can't count. So, this will be interesting! Most likely, the numbers will be counted 3-4 times to produce fraudulent numbers... Hey, since we don't require voter id's, what would stop voters for going to the polls several times?

    we should eliminate Florida all together... OR should we just add their numbers as it will be interesting to see what comes out of the numbers!

    January 14, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Joeley Reno, Nevada

    Guiliani reminds me of the Jester in the old Batman series.

    Friends in NY find it amazing that people really believe Rudy's rhetoric.

    He was not the hero of 9-11. Firefighters, police and our people were the heros.

    He was the 'suit' taking advantage of a photo opportunity, just like George Bush standing on top of the rubble talking about how he was 'gonna get em'.

    I hope this race is based on the mettle of the candidates and their qualifications, not just their stump speeches.

    If it's change agents with experience and vision then it looks like Clinton and McCain. Now that would be a race!

    However, if it's empty rhetoric and a great set of stump speeches then it's probably going to be Obama and Huckabee. WOW, a dreamer and a preacher...


    The folks in New Hampshire got it right on both sides of the ticket!

    January 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. what about 9/10

    Rudy had an approval rating of 31% while mayor of New York, worse than W. The only thing that saved him was 9-11.

    January 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Lauren Bates

    Ron Paul. All the others are not worthy. I'm sorry the media and it's allies have confused the public, but he is our only hope. Why don't you see other signs in the cities? It's because no one is really for these other candidates.

    January 14, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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