Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Sawyer asks governor for one more day of voting

Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer on Friday asked Gov. Rick Scott to extend early voting in the Florida Keys one more day, through 7 p.m. Sunday, citing long lines at ballot sites.

Sawyer, the Republican who fought to keep 14 days of early voting rather than the state's new 12-hour, 8-day schedule, said lines are turning away people who want to vote.

Early voting numbers as of Friday are down from 2008, said Sawyer, who predicts that the final tally will be 2,000 votes short of the nearly 13,641 early votes cast four years ago.

"There just haven't been enough days," Sawyer said Friday night. "We're doing very well but we can do so much better."

As of Friday, 9,209 early ballots had been cast in the Keys. Between absentee voting and early voting, 39 percent of registered voters have done their civic duty in advance of Tuesday's general election.

Sawyer said he didn't know when or if Scott would respond with an answer.

On Thursday night at a GOP fundraiser in Florida, Scott said he would not add more time to the early voting schedule, the Associated Press reported.

The League of Women Voters on Thursday joined a call by the chairman of Florida's Democratic Party for Scott to extend early voting through Sunday, citing long lines.

Sawyer said Friday he did not know about the League's request, but that he would have sent the email anyway.

Monroe County was the last holdout in Florida to implement the state's new early voting schedule.

Sawyer, who has held the office for 24 years, became a national figure of protest when he announced that reducing the number of days would have a "retrogressive impact on minority voters."

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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