TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Democrats said Monday they will go to court to try to change the wording of the gubernatorial ballot, which they say may again confuse voters.
The ballot for the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for governor instructs voters to "Vote for One Pair," meaning they should choose a combined entry for governor and lieutenant governor.
But Democrats say that will be confusing because none of their gubernatorial candidates has yet chosen a running mate. That could lead some voters to pick two gubernatorial candidates, nullifying their vote, they say.
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Bob Poe planned a morning news conference in Tallahassee to announce a lawsuit against the state and Florida's 67 county elections supervisors aimed at changing the wording of the ballot.
Secretary of State Jim Smith, who was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday after Katherine Harris resigned to run for Congress, has instructed elections officials to determine whether it is possible to make any changes to the ballot before the primary, now five weeks away.
The Democratic candidates for governor are former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Tampa lawyer Bill McBride and state Sen. Daryl Jones.
Instead of listing a lieutenant governor candidate, the ballot reads "Not Yet Designated" under each candidate's name.
It is impossible to vote twice in a race on computerized touchscreen voting machines that have been installed in 15 counties. Also, optical scanning machines in the other 52 counties will detect "overvotes" before voters exit the polls.
But the problem may arise with the thousands of absentee voters from all 67 counties. There is no mechanism that would catch their mistake if they overvote.