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Florida's Republicans cut early voting from 15 to 8 days, reduced early voting hours and eliminated early voting on the Sunday before the election. In response, the Obama campaign is now promoting in-person absentee voting, until early voting officially begins.  

In 2008, "4.3 million people cast votes during early voting and absentee balloting; Democrats outnumbered Republicans by almost 360,000 among those voters" (link). Obama's margin of victory was about 200,000 votes, and about half of all voters voted early or by absentee ballot.

Floridians had already cast more than 76,000 ballots in the presidential election as of Wednesday morning.
So far, Romney’s campaign has a slight edge in absentee voting. Republicans have requested 894,544 absentee ballots and returned 33,143, compared to 820,865 requested and 31,305 returned by Democrats, according to the Romney campaign. Independent and minor party voters have requested 374,551 ballots and returned 12,083. The state Democratic Party has numbers that reflect the same ratio of requested and returned ballots. The state only releases the information to political parties, elections officials and candidates until the election is over.


the Obama campaign says it's sure that it will narrow the absentee-ballot gap and will dominate on early voting days.
Florida Democrats have enjoyed a significant advantage over Republicans with in-person early votes since that option began in 2002, while Republicans have long had an advantage with absentee voting.


in 2008 Republicans requested 15 percent more absentee ballots than Democrats

[Obama’s campaign is] telling supporters to request an absentee ballot in person and then fill it out and return it on the spot. It laid the groundwork by contacting elections officials to ensure that they’d allow people to absentee vote in person. Most of Florida’s 67 counties allow it.

“This is going to be the first big statewide push for in-person absentee voting,” said Obama campaign spokesman Eric Jotkoff. “Now that the voter registration deadline has passed, our volunteer army is shifting to educate Floridians on the several different options of how Floridians can vote.”


they will spread the word through phone banks, door-to-door canvassing and other outreach efforts.
Those of us unable to attend events in-person or visit a campaign office can support this GOTV effort by calling Floridians. The call script includes the address and business hours to vote early by in-person absentee ballot.

Make Calls

Hace Llamadas

To beat the expected crowd, Miami Democrats like Wayner showed up at 11:15 a.m., waited in line and was out of the Doral-based elections office by 12:20 p.m. Wednesday.

"This was pretty easy and I know my vote counted," Wayner. "That's why I showed up and did this now."


1. Pensacola News Journal. October 11. "76,000 absentee ballots cast so far in Florida".
2. Miami Herald. October 11. "In trial run, early voters learn that long ballots mean long waits". [waits of 1 hour long].
3. Tampa Bay Times. October 10. "Obama campaign makes massive Florida push for absentee votes".

How to use the online call tool on

Just log-in to the campaign Dashboard and follow the script:

You can pick whatever state you want to call and select from a couple of different scripts.

-- -- -- --

In Spanish / En español

Se quieres saber cómo hacer llamadas en español, por favor mira este video:

Clica en el link y segue el guion:
Tu papel será preguntarles a los votantes si el Presidente Obama puede contar con su apoyo en noviembre y si están interesados en involucrarse en esta campaña y ayudar a registrar a votantes hispanoparlantes.

Tip: If you're nervous, just get through the first three calls. That's my threshold for settling down.

8:52 AM PT: leglachic writes here  about a problem in printing 60,000 absentee ballots in Palm Beach County, which means that the ballots will need to be hand counted and which make it much harder to find a race for Supreme Court.

The judge is right to be worried that he could lose thousands of Democratic votes because of the printing problem.

From 2008:

Thirty-eight minutes after polls closed in Palm Beach County, elections officials posted results of absentee ballots.

The first reports: 97,900 ballots cast in the presidential race, with Barack Obama taking a commanding 56 percent of the vote to Republican John McCain's 43.2 percent.

These partial results showed: McCain received 42,314 absentee ballot votes in Palm Beach County; Obama with 54,792 of those votes.


Update: To vote in-person absentee, your county Supervisor of Elections office may offer it during normal business hours, M-F, through October 24th. FYI, from an above article, it appears a few counties may not be making in-person absentee voting available. Nonetheless, the Obama campaign has contacted all the Supervisors of Elections offices, and so their GOTV effort should be using the correct information (e.g. in the online phonebanking). Interestingly, Obama's GottaVote page for FL is only promoting early voting from Oct 27-Nov 3...perhaps to avoid confusion.
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