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:: 10.27.2004 ::  



58,000 absentee ballots missing in Florida
While some had begun to be delivered, her office had been inundated with calls from anxious voters who still had not received their ballots.

"It's really inexplicable at this point in time and the matter is under investigation by law enforcement," [Broward deputy supervisor of elections Gisela] Salas told Reuters.

"It was basically our first major drop of the absentee ballots," Salas said. She said postal service officials had assured Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes that the ballots had moved out of the post office to which they had been taken by the elections office.

U.S. Postal Service Inspector Del Alvarez, whose federal agency is independent from the U.S. Postal Service, said it had yet to be determined if the ballots reached the post office.

"It's highly unlikely that 58,000 pieces of mail just disappeared," he said. "We're looking for it, we're trying to find it if in fact it was ever delivered to the postal service."
What a mess. YahooNews, c/o Fark.

A side note: Did you know that Gisela Salas was Miami-Dade county's assistant supervisor of elections in 2002? Broward and Miami-Dade have the largest voter turnout of all Florida counties, and they keep ending up in the news with voting problems, with the same (often governor-appointed) officials responsible for those areas: David Leahy, Gisela Salas, and Brenda Snipes (who was appointed by Gov. Bush to replace Oliphaunt after the 2002 voting debacle). I'm not saying any of this is their fault; I just find it interesting.

Here's a story that confuses me:
Some Republican Party leaders are pressuring the GOP candidate for Broward supervisor of elections to drop out of the race in an effort to reduce black voter turnout during the general election in November, according to both GOP and Democratic insiders.

Their apparent goal is to give the incumbent, Democrat Brenda Snipes - who was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush last November - a clear shot at victory.

The Republicans hope to prevent a competitive race between Snipes, who's black, and Steven Shin, a Korean-American. Their fear is that a strong challenge to Snipes would boost black voter turnout in Broward, according to both Republican and Democratic insiders.

High black turnout almost certainly would help Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and Democratic Senate candidate Betty Castor in what's expected to be a very close Florida election. Democrats have charged that Republicans are trying to suppress black voter turnout across the country, which some but not all Republicans deny.

"If [Shin] and [Snipes] are not on the ballot, that will mitigate or hurt turnout in the African-American community," said Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward Democratic Party. "[Snipes] is a positive symbol in the black community. They're not doing this to help Dr. Snipes but to help George Bush."

But Shin, 41, a Hollywood certified public accountant and developer who was recruited by the GOP to enter the race, said he's staying in unless he gets a "concrete" offer.
Found on Shin's campaign website.

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