Published January 14, 2015
Florida voters get to cast their ballots for president beginning Monday, and Democrat John Kerry (search) planned to spend all day asking for their votes.
"You have got to start voting tomorrow," Kerry told thousands of Floridians in Pembroke Pines on Sunday. "And you've got to get your friends to go out and vote starting tomorrow."
While asking for votes, Kerry also planned to lay out his prescription for avoiding another flu vaccine shortage like the one this season.
Kerry wants manufacturers to report vaccine supplitaken after the first presidential debate, one shows Bush ahead and others show the candidates running neck-and-neck. A clear victory by either candidate offers 27 electoral votes and a chance to avoid the recount that decided the 2000 election.
Early voting was introduced in Florida after the prolonged 2000 ballot count. Rep. Kendrick Meek, chairman of Kerry's Florida election effort, said the extra time should help the state find and solve similar problems that might arise.
"If I have a problem, I will have 15 days to resolve the issue versus two hours on Election Day (search)," Meek said.
Democrats said they have 46,000 volunteers mobilized to help get out the early vote, delivering a blizzard of phone calls and mail.
They also have no shortage of politicians and party officials imploring them to get to the polls. Besides the presidential candidates, Florida got a visit from Kerry's running mate, John Edwards, on Sunday.
"We have to rise up and make sure that our voices are heard and that begins tomorrow," Edwards said from the pulpit of a Baptist church.
Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe (search) said he and Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other prominent black Democrats plan visits next week and urge people to minimize the possibility for trouble by voting early.
"It's very important," McAuliffe said. "We are encouraging them to vote early just to get it done."