The now-in-effect changes to Florida’s elections pushes the date of the state’s primary to August 14. State law requires ballots being mailed to military and overseas absentee voters to be sent no later than 45 days before the election. Looking at the calendar, that means ballots will start flying no later than June 30, 2012. ***Update***A loyal reader emailed me to point out that page 81 of the new election legislation calls for ballots going to the permanent list of absentee voters to be mailed no later than 35 to 28 days before an election, which is still an early date, but at least keeps most early voting from beginning until mid July.
Nine days into Summer!
The kids will barely be out of school. Baseball’s All-Star game will have yet to be played. Batman 3 will have yet to hit theaters. It may not even be that hot yet (and by hot, I mean late Summer Florida hot).
That means the television ads will be on the air by Mothers’ Day. That means that political candidates, not your friends and family, will be at your Memorial Day barbecues. Lord knows when they will schedule the debates?!?
And here’s where it gets really interesting: Candidate qualifying in Florida is suppose (a big suppose because who knows how long it will take for the redistricting process) ends on June 8, 2012. That leaves some candidates, especially those running for state Senate and House, with about three weeks to officially campaign before the ballots start flying.
If you think all of these trains –redistricting, qualifying and early voting — are all going to run on time, you haven’t been paying attention to Florida politics. Look for the whole damn thing to come off the tracks by the middle of June.