EXTENDS EARLY VOTING HOURS
~~ ~Ensures maximum number of Floridians can exercise right to vote~ ~~
October 28, 2008
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today signed Executive Order 08-217, extending the hours for early voting during the current General Election. Effective immediately, early voting sites will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., through Friday, October 31, 2008, and for a total of 12 hours between 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 1, and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2008.
"I have spoken with the Secretary of State and members of the Florida Legislature and have concluded that it is always the right thing to do to give voters every opportunity to cast a ballot," Governor Crist said. "I have a responsibility to the voters of our state to ensure that the maximum number of citizens can participate in the electoral process, and that every person can exercise the right to vote."
Prior to the 2008 General Election, Florida has seen historic numbers of Floridians registering to vote for the first time. In addition, record numbers of voters have chosen to cast a ballot during early voting.
Early voting began on October 20 and runs through November 2. Current Florida law allows for early voting to be conducted eight hours per day on each weekday, and for a total of eight hours during both weekends during the early voting period. Floridians can contact their county's Supervisor of Elections for dates, times and locations of early voting.
Florida voters can also request absentee ballots to be mailed to them until October 29.
Please see the attached Executive Order 08-217.
STATE OF FLORIDA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 08-217
WHEREAS, early voting is scheduled to end November 2, 2008; and
WHEREAS, early voting turnout has already reached record levels and is forecast to continue with record turnout. There are only 267 early voting sites throughout the state and long lines have formed at many of the early voting sites; and
WHEREAS, a historic number of Floridians have registered to vote for the first time in this election; and
WHEREAS, new voting equipment is being used in 15 Florida counties;
WHEREAS, as a result of this unique combination of circumstances resulting from the historic voter turnout in this election, there is a possibility that election officials will be unable to conduct an orderly election, and thus residents in our state could be deprived of a meaningful opportunity to vote; and
WHEREAS, because of the existing and continuing possibility of an emergency occurring before or during the regularly scheduled election, and in order to ensure maximum citizen participation in the electoral process, and provide a safe and orderly procedure for persons seeking to exercise their right to vote;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHARLIE CRIST, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution, by the Florida Elections Emergency Act, and by all other applicable laws, issue the following Executive Order, to take immediate effect:
I hereby declare that, based on the above-described conditions, a state of emergency exists. It is hereby found and declared to be necessary to extend the voting hours during early voting. Accordingly, I order the Supervisors of Elections to open early voting sites from 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. through October 31, 2008 and open early voting sites for a total of twelve (12) hours between 7 a.m. November 1, 2008 and 7 p.m. November 2, 2008.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed, at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 28th day of October, 2008.
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