OFA Florida has been pushing absentee ballots to make up for the shortened early voting period but when I read this piece from an impartial observer it gives me a heart attack:
Here are some numbers that will give the Obama campaign heartburn in the key states of Iowa and Florida.It makes me wonder if my experience with requesting one is much more common than I previously believed.
In Florida, 406,634 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 362,920 Republicans. In comparison, registered Democrats have returned 700,970 mail ballots compared to 781,043 Republicans. Thus, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats in returned mail ballots by a wide margin, more Democrats have yet to return their ballot.
I requested an absentee ballot because I was told that it was super convenient given that the ballot is extremely long. I requested an absentee ballot in late September and I got it on Oct. 12th. The same day I received the ballot, I got a letter stating that my signature on the absentee ballot request didn't match the one that was on my voter registration application and that I needed to update my signature, or else my ballot will be rejected. A form was provided to me to update my signature but it was in Spanish!! I am not a Spanish speaker. Since I am volunteer with OFA, I went to the office to see what needed to be done. That day I found out that a lot of people have been receiving these types of letters. I was instructed to go to the Miami-Dade Elections Department office in Downtown Miami. This was really inconvenient for me because I work in Fort Lauderdale. I had to take time off to update my signature. I was only able to do this because I had worked over 40 hours (3 hrs). To be fair the people at the elections office were very nice and helpful but this was still an inconvenience. Imagine if I didn't have the overtime or the benefit of paid time off (PTO) then this would have been costly.
Many of our supporters do not have the time or paid-time off to do this. So I am wondering if my situation is a major factor for the disparity between the requesting ballots and returning them. I am going to contact OFA about this and see what is going on. Because 406,634 votes is a lot considering that this is a close election.