Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Florida House 32 Results - UPDATED

It looks like 5 precincts in Brevard County are having a problem with results. Three precincts lost all power so I'll speculate they might be part of the delay. Orange County had 100% reported within 30 minutes. They had power problems but not at any precincts. In Orange, it was all about getting there.

Sean Campbell (R) 9,489 46%
Tony Sasso (D) 9,898 48%
Jerry Maynard (NP) 1,324 6%

The race is too close to call with five precincts out but Sasso's showing is surprising. I really thought he'd be down, especially with the power problem. I think a lot of people will be surprised that the No-Party candidate did that well. Reading the comments on articles about this race makes 6% a surprise.

They expected a 30% turnout in Brevard and are running at 25%. I don't know what they expected in Orange but it's usually about the same. Orange had a turnout of 11%. The precincts in this area of Orange county are off the beaten path. What affect, if any, the power outage had is probably impossible to determine.

I'll be gauging the reaction about this race in light of its Congressional seat implications after the results are in but I want to weigh in with a personal opinion as opposed to an observation.

The Supervisor of Elections in both Orange and Brevard County were dealing with a unique situation that had the potential to affect the outcome of an election. In fact, early reports that it would take up to 10 hours to restore power should have forced them to the conclusion that the outage would impact the race.

The only focus of the Elections Offices was whether the precincts were functioning - not whether voters could actually get there to vote.

The roads were a mess. The average commute was impacted. Parents had to detour to pick up children at schools due to school lock-downs and cancellation of bus service. The day was thrown completely akilter. Add to that the tornado warnings and watches as well as the high wind advisories and the day's commute was dramatically affected.

As an elections supervisor, I think it's as important they make sure that voters can get to the polls as it is to assure that they can vote when they get there. If it means keeping the polls open a few hours longer, I've got to think it's worth it.

Shouldn't every Supervisor be doing all they can - including calling the Governor. He can always say no but who would with the press hot on the trail. I don't understand why they're not just as hot on the Supers who won't even ask.

Enough about Florida though. We'll just plan on the next screw-up coming from here. It always does. [sigh]

UPDATE 1 - Sasso (D) wins by about 400 votes at the final tally. Voter turnout lower than expected.