Palm Beach County voters warned about very long ballot

Sample ballots are arriving in mailboxes this week

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Palm Beach County voters who check their mailbox this week may find a sample election ballot inside. It may look small at first, but when it is opened, voters may be in for a big surprise. 

With just two weeks until election day, Palm Beach County voters are being asked to study their very important - and very long - sample ballot.  "It's a pretty long ballot," said Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. Bucher wants to avoid long lines, confusion and frustration that have plagued elections in the county in the past.

This election ballot consists of six pages of decisions to make. Aside from the candidates' races, there are eleven constitutional amendments. There could be even more amendments on the ballot depending on the city or town in which a particular resident lives. 

"In order to get the gist of what the implementation of that ballot question would be, we would recommend that they do a little bit of research," said Bucher.

West Palm Beach resident Kathy Hage, a librarian, is doing that research.  "It's really hard to walk in and make an educated decision right on the spot," said Hage. "It's a really big deal. But it's a really big responsibility, so worth looking at ahead of time."

Sample ballots are beginning to arrive in the mailboxes of non-absentee voters across the county. Bucher wants people to fill out the sample ballot at home then bring it to their voting place to transfer their information.  Doing so, she says, could cut the time in the voting booth from thirty minutes to three minutes.
"Hopefully I'll be in and out," said Jon Voiles of West Palm Beach, who is willing to do his homework. Voiles said he wants to be sure that his voice and his vote is counted in this high-stakes election. "It's going to come down to Florida again, and probably even this county," he said.

Those who have yet to receive a sample ballot in the mail can request on from the Supervisor of Elections office in person or it can be found be entering the voter's home address online. 

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