TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state agreed to change the ballot for Florida's gubernatorial primary after the Democrats complained in a lawsuit that the wording would lead to the kind of confusion seen during the 2000 election debacle.
The original Sept. 10 ballot instructed voters to "Vote for One Pair" -- meaning they should pick one candidate and his or her running mate. But the running mates have not been selected yet, and their names were not on the ballot.
As a result, the Democrats said, some people might become confused and make two choices for governor, which would nullify their ballot.
The party sued over the wording on Monday. But it dropped the lawsuit on Tuesday after Secretary of State Jim Smith proposed deleting the word "pair."
Counties will be directed to print ballots saying simply "Vote for One." Counties that already have printed ballots may strike out the word "pair." And supplemental instructions will be mailed with absentee ballots.
"Just getting that word `pair' dropped is a significant victory for Florida voters," said Democratic Party spokesman Ryan Banfill.
The Democrats seeking the nomination for governor are former Attorney General Janet Reno, lawyer Bill McBride and state Sen. Daryl Jones. The nominee will face Gov. Jeb Bush in November.
In 2000, about 113,000 Floridians nullified their ballots with overvotes -- picking more than one candidate -- in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Bush won the state by 537 votes.