Thought on FL election and Manatee County results

November 10, 2012 

Florida looks like this year's election punchline again since a final tally remains incomplete in the presidential contest.

As of Friday morning, President Obama remained in the lead by 58,055 votes out of more than 8 million cast, but the percentage margin is thin: 49.92 percent to 49.22 for Mitt Romney.

Manatee County's Romney supporters did their best to bridge that gap, providing their candidate with a comfortable 55.68 percent margin on 85,455 votes to Obama's 43.18 percent and 66,276 ballots.

Consider that roughly 43 percent of county voters are registered Republican and 32 percent are Democrats with the other 25 percent not affiliated with either major party. One could surmise that the independent vote was fairly well split between the two major presidential candidates.

This election also reflects the popularity of absentee (45,764 votes) and early voting (16,343), apparently to avoid long lines on election day.

But with an average of 2,000 per day during early voting, that line often looked lengthy and daunting at the lone polling place.

Voters deserve more sites in the next general election. Florida law restricts early voting sites to libraries and city halls besides election offices. There should be no excuses about a lack of space. The downtown library alone has a large meeting room that would suffice.

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