St. Petersburg Times Online: Election 2000
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Presidential campaign lures people to polls

By MATTHEW WAITE, CHASE SQUIRES and JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000


Handed a chance to tip the scales in the nationwide presidential race, Floridians flooded the polls in what may be record numbers.

Elections officials in Pasco, Citrus, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties said they were on pace for turnout to hit the 70 percent range.

"I don't think it's going to be 80 percent," Hernando Supervisor of Elections Ann Mau said. "But it's going to be good."

Many voters said the presidential contest was what brought them to the ballot box Tuesday.

"I don't usually vote in all the elections, but you have to vote for the president," said Ronald Krna, who voted at the Hernando County Fairgrounds. "It's just a thing you're supposed to do."

George W. Bush and Al Gore had campaigned repeatedly in Florida, with the state's 25 electoral votes ultimately going to the Democratic nominee in what was shaping up as a close contest.

"This one is definitely important," said Diane Manigold, who voted at the Veteran's Village area precinct in southern Pasco County. "It's so close."

Although she and her husband, Bruce, voted for Bush because he is more conservative, their daughter, Tonya, voted for Gore because of his stance in favor of abortion rights.

"It's a strong enough issue that I'd come and vote for it," said Tonya, 19, who was voting for the first time.

If turnout hits the 70 percent range, it would not set a record -- 83 percent of those registered turned out in 1992.

But the actual numbers of voters were higher than ever, at least in some areas. In Hillsborough County, Elections Supervisor Pam Iorio said she thought as many as 375,000 voters might turn out, compared with a previous record of roughly 320,000.

"It's been absolutely steady. Even some of my longtime clerks said "Oh, we've never seen anything like it.' "

At Pasco County's Precinct 1, in Dade City, nurse's aide Judi Cavanaugh came directly from her shift to vote Tuesday morning. Awareness about this year's election has been huge, she said.

"Everyone told me to come out and vote; my husband, my family, everyone," she said.

For Michael Moschuk, 85, of Inverness voting on Tuesday was not a reaction to Florida's potential role as a decisionmaker. He always votes Democratic, no matter what the candidates do in Florida.

"It's my duty to vote for president. Sometimes I don't vote for anything else."

- Times staff writers Jim Ross and Curtis Krueger contributed to this report.

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From the Times election desk

National
  • Recount: Presidency hangs on Florida duel
  • Hour by hour, outcome gets more uncertain
  • State by state
  • Republicans make gains in skirmish for 83 seats
  • Uneasy mood in Austin flips as votes do
  • Voters swayed by economy, health care, education, Social Security
  • Too close to call in Florida but TV did -- regretfully
  • Presidential campaign lures people to polls
  • Fight for Congress: no clear-cut winner
  • Election 2000 in brief

  • State
  • Nelson takes Senate seat
  • Republican Crist well on path to victory
  • Incumbent Crow slightly ahead
  • Race turns into nail-biter
  • Byrd dominating in bid for third term
  • Farkas soundly beats Fischer
  • Foster breaks ahead, takes lead over Baldwin
  • Wallace jumps to early lead over his challenger
  • Henriquez holds strong lead
  • Cowin gains ground in home county
  • Incumbent strides ahead of newcomer
  • Justice leading Kersteen by a comfortable margin
  • Murman headed for second term
  • Newcomer battle ends with Republican Berfield as victor
  • Waters blocks Brennan challenge
  • Miller's hopes look to be affirmed
  • Miller overpowers former Democrat
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Crist has slight lead on Castor
  • Thurman keeps District 5 seat
  • Bilirakis has big lead in District 9
  • C.W. Bill Young winning handily
  • Bullet train heading for success
  • Davis wins third term
  • Putnam takes early lead
  • Incumbent Russell's win thinner than predicted
  • GOP Rep. Miller is likely victor
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Gallagher coasts to victory and his old job
  • Littlefield again defeats McLaughlin
  • Fasano, Fiorentino winning return trip
  • Election roundup
  • Briefly

  • Pinellas
  • Pinellas commission now full
  • One race won by landslide, another by a single vote
  • Lealman heads toward fire tax
  • Bobel, Dedman win approval
  • All changes to charter pass voters' muster
  • Peluso, Henry lead pack of 5 candidates

  • Hillsborough
  • Voters favor most amendments
  • Democrats bustle to get the vote out
  • Iorio builds her solid lead on record
  • Holt closing in on a third term
  • Term limits prevailing
  • Ober poised in attorney race
  • Republicans may reign in commission
  • Ake appears on his way to keep tenure unbroken
  • Results mixed on city amendments
  • Incumbent trails in four-way race
  • Two incumbents, Miller leading

  • Pasco
  • Altman holds slim lead
  • Challenger upsets incumbent Cannon
  • Second run is the charm for Schrader
  • Johnson captures Meadow Pointe post

  • Hernando
  • Bernardini bests longtime adversary
  • Sikes will succeed her sister upon retirement
  • Experienced teacher wins out over mom
  • Williams captures historic win
  • Early tally: Andrews first, Martin second, Hollander third
  • Democrats take over the board
  • Big ticket polls' big draw

  • Citrus
  • Activist Warren sails past Cooper
  • Council incumbents out; new mayor in
  • Schultz wins, will serve a final term ending in 2004
  • Hickey wins Citrus superintendent race
  • Bush is easy winner in the schoolhouse
  • Eager voters met with long lines
  • Candidate bounces out of hospital to ply voters


  • From the AP
    national wire
  • Bush Pledges Iraq Arms Hunt Will Continue
  • 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban Passes House

    hearme.com

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