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Seminole election chief Mike Ertel vs. the 'partisan' conventional wisdom

Mike Ertel, the elections supervisor of Seminole County,** is one of the few in the state who daily emails out data about early and absentee voting (AKA "EV/AB").

The emails also have an elections musing/lesson for the day that address some of conventional wisdom about elections that concern, for example, early voting and provisional ballots.

A sample:

Here's today, 10/29/2012:

Did You Know: As the election gets closer, some partisans will try to convince you up to 40% of provisional (eligibility verification) ballots are “thrown out.”  To be clear: 100% of provisional (eligibility verification) ballots cast will count if the voter is eligible.  100%.  One hundred percent. All of them.  100 percent.  Every single one.  100%.    Which ones aren’t counted? -- those which are cast by people who are either not registered to vote or otherwise not qualified to cast the ballots which they’ve requested.  However, if they are eligible to cast the ballot, it will be counted.  What percent of the time? -- that’s right; 100%

Sunday, 10/28/2012:

This was the first 12-hour Sunday early voting period in Seminole County history, and we had a brisk turnout with more than 7,700 folks casting a ballot (including me).....

Did You Know: in the 2008 general election there was a total of 80 hours of early voting on Sundays for the entire state.  Today, there was 619 hours statewide.  That’s 539 more hours of Sunday early voting for this election than in the 2008 election.

Saturday, 10/27/2012:

Attached is the chart for the first day of early voting and today’s returned absentees.  Of major note: our first day of early voting for this year shattered the totals for the first day of early voting in 2008 (’08=4,895 vs. ‘12=7,980).

A reminder about campaign signs; the county policy is regular yard sign-size is allowable at the library-based early voting centers, but not big banners.  If we see any over-sized signs, we will take them down.

While today was a very long one for your volunteers and campaign workers, it was also a long one for our pollworker teams.  They did a phenomenal job, and I can’t be more proud of how they handled the crowds and processed the longest day of early voting in Seminole County history and a lengthy line of voters completing the lengthiest ballot in our county’s 99-year history.  If you see one of them tomorrow, please be sure and thank them. Tomorrow should be a great day at the centers as a strong push by campaigns to get “Souls to the Polls” will result in a pretty hefty turnout.   

Speaking of Sunday -- Did You Know: in 2008, Seminole County was one of only ten counties in the state that offered early voting on Sundays?  This year all 67 counties will offer it.

**A brief note about Seminole: it's one of those crucial I-4 counties, was the seventh-highest early vote county this morning (about 15,700 ballots cast). With 110,567 voters, Republicans outnumber Democrats by 6 percentage points (in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 4.5 percent). President Obama lost Seminole by 3 points in 2008, when he won Florida by about 3 points. While Democrats in the rest of the state are out-voting Republicans by EV, the GOP in Seminole is matching the Democratic Party's turnout. And it's blowing away the Democratic Party when it comes to AB. Total GOP edge in EV/AB ballots cast: 5,763.

Meanwhile, statewide, Democrats have erased the GOP EV/AB lead in just two days of early voting. More here