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'Everything went by the book' with voting

Elections boss was on the mark: percent voting (57.5) and votes tallied (by 8:30 p.m.). ''I was pretty darned close.''

By JOY DAVIS-PLATT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 7, 2002

Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams got exactly what she expected Tuesday night.

About 60 percent of the county's registered voters cast their ballots in the midterm election, a fairly high turnout for a gubernatorial race.

"We had right at 57 and a half percent show up," said Williams, who predicted a 60 percent turnout for the county's 100,554 registered voters. "So, I was pretty darned close."

Also as Williams forecast, election results had been tallied by 8:30 p.m., an hour and a half after the county's 53 polling places closed, thanks to the county's optical scanner voting system.

"Everything went by the book," she said. "People started coming in in the morning and they just kept coming all day long. It went so fast."

As with any election, Williams said, a few voters needed a fresh ballot after making an error on the first.

"It happens," she said. "Voters are allowed up to three tries."

For the next few days, the county's election office will concentrate efforts on auditing ballots with write-in candidates and provisional ballots, those cast when the voter's status was in question on election day, to make sure they are valid.

Within two weeks, Williams said, the office will be able to say for sure how voter turnout broke down along party lines.

"The after-election work is moving right along," Williams said.

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