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Times editorial: No rush to return mail ballots

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Of course the Times does not want you voting early, lest their precious endorsements, err, recommendations are of lesser value. So their latest editorial browbeats voters in to holding on to them to the very end:

Arriving in mailboxes near you: ballots for the Aug. 24 statewide primary election. But that does not mean it’s time to vote. The early arrival of ballots should signal voters that it is time to educate themselves so they can vote responsibly, and they should avoid rushing to return them.

Elections officials began sending out ballots last week to Florida voters who said they wanted to vote by mail this year. Florida has no law requiring elections supervisors to hold ballots until closer to election day, so some supervisors mail them out as early as possible. That means many voters received their ballots almost six weeks before the election and long before they have enough information to cast informed votes in all races.

It is unfortunate that forces seem to be conspiring to pressure Florida voters to cast their ballots so early. Voting by mail has been heavily promoted by elections supervisors, who rave about its convenience for voters but also find it makes their jobs easier by distributing voting over weeks rather than concentrating it on election day.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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