When Gov. Rick Scott casts his ballot in Tuesday's Republican presidential preference primary, he'll do it in Tallahassee for the first time -- and he'll be the first governor to do that in the capital city in years.
Florida's 59-year-old Republican governor has lived in Naples for eight years, but he recently updated his voting address and changed it to 700 North Adams Street, the address of the Governor's Mansion where he now lives most of the time. That makes him a definite Tallahassee insider, at least on paper.
Scott became a Leon County voter last July, according to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho's office. A Sancho assistant said it came about through an electronic list maintenance process: Leon was notified by the Collier County elections office that Scott's permanent address was Tallahassee, not Naples.
Interestingly, had Scott's change of address not been processed as it was, he would have been required to cast a provisional ballot under a provision of Florida's controversial election law (HB 1355) that is now enmeshed in litigation. That law says a Florida voter who has moved from one county to another since the last election must vote provisionally.
"But if you change your address before you vote, it's all right," Sancho said. "You have to change your address before you vote."
Scott also updated his mailing address on his driver's license on Jan. 24 to reflect his Tallahassee residency, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (A little-known state law requires motorists to update their addresses within 10 days of moving).
Scott has not endorsed a candidate in the Republican presidential race, but he can expect to be asked about his decision after he votes Tuesday. The governor's last two predecessors, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush, maintained their voting privileges in their hometowns of St. Petersburg and Miami, respectively.
First Lady Ann Scott also switched her voter registration to Leon County when her husband did. Mrs. Scott voted early last week at the Leon County Courthouse.
-- Steve Bousquet