Published On: Mon, Aug 20th, 2018

Early Voters and Those Utilizing Vote by Mail (Absentee) Ballots Get a Jump on Election Day!

By Robert S Weinroth

In Palm Beach County, as of Thursday morning, 23,000 people had availed themselves of the opportunity to vote early. Early voting ENDS on Sunday night at 6PM!

In addition, over 133,000 Vote by Mail Ballots were mailed to registered voters in Palm Beach County (over 50,000 were voted and returned to the Supervisor of Elections as of Thursday morning).

The breakdown of Vote by Mail Ballots received by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is Republican 32 percent, Democrat 57 percent and the remainder NPA (No Party Affiliation) or “other.”

The breakdown of Early voters in Palm Beach County is about the same with 34 percent Republican, 59 percent Democrat and the remainder NPA or “other.”

Polls will be closed on Monday August 27th to give Susan Bucher and her team time to reset for Election Day. Polls throughout the county will re-open at 7AM on Tuesday August 28th and close at 7PM.

If you received a Vote by Mail ballot but wish to cast your ballot, in person, bring your VBM ballot with you to expedite the process of allowing you to vote.

Clearly, there’s is no excuse (except apathy) for not voting.

In the City of Boca Raton, in addition to the candidates vying for positions on the ballot in November’s General Election, three candidates are seeking to be mayor through March 2020 (or until suspended Mayor, Susan Haynie, is reinstated by the Governor) and three candidates are seeking to fill the unexpired term of Scott Singer who, to run for mayor, was required to “resign to run.” His unconditional resignation means, win or lose, he will be required to relinquish his seat as a Council Member when one of the candidates for Seat A is sworn in to restore the City Council to a full 5 member body.

To save the city the expense of holding a stand-alone Special Election, the Council approved a plan to hold the Special Election concurrently with the regularly scheduled state primary. The downside of the decision to hold the Special Election concurrently with the state primary is the candidates for the two seats (mayor and council member) appear at the very bottom of the ballot.

Another drawback of the decision to hold the Special Election concurrently with the state primary is candidates are faced with an extended period when voters can cast a ballot. During the municipal elections, generally held in March, there is no Early Voting. The relatively low turn-out (less than 20 percent for municipal elections and even less when the mayor is not up for election) does not justify the expense of opening the fifteen Early Voting sites in Palm Beach County.

Candidates vying for seats during the Special Election however, have been working vigorously to garner the votes of both early voters and those who have received a ballot by mail.

Finally, while the turnout for the municipal elections is much lower than what can be expected for a state primary, people who do make the effort to vote in a municipal election are casting a ballot with a fair amount of knowledge about the candidates. During this Special Election, however, many voters are primarily focused on the candidates for statewide and federal offices (Governor, US Senator, US House, etc).

Voters who are neither a member of the Democratic or Republican parties cannot vote in partisan primaries except in a limited number of races where all candidates are from the same party and there are no write-in candidates. If those two conditions are met, the primary is “open” and all voters are allowed to select from the available candidates. Absent a primary being deemed “open,” voters who have not declared themselves to be a Democrat or Republican can only vote in non-partisan races (including the judicial races and, of course, the Special Municipal Election).

To determine where you vote, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections sends out voter ID cards identifying your precinct number and its location. If you cannot locate your ID card, you can go online at: www.pbcelections.org/precinctfinder.aspx to determine where you vote.

Unlike Early Voting, you must go to your assigned  precinct to cast a ballot.

Despite being one of our greatest civic duties, voting is the least exercised. The blood of the men and women of our armed forces has been shed in many theaters throughout the world in the defense of freedom. Voting is a small way of recognizing those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Don’t leave it to your neighbors to make a choice between the candidates seeking to serve in elected office. Take the time to learn the issues and the candidates and vote!

 

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 26 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman and former member of the City Council where he served for four years. Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. Weinroth, who is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey, served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services INC (FREEDOMED®), an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth was elected president of two homeowners associations (Boca Falls HOA and Briarcliff at Woodfield Country Club HOA) and has served as a Board member of the Bay Winds HOA. He was also appointed to serve on the Safety & Security Committee at Woodfield Country Club HOA, its finance committee and the Club by-laws, long-range planning and finance committees. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15 th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. Weinroth has also served on the boards of two synagogues, most recently B’nai Torah Congregation where he served as Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. He was elected to the School Advisory Councils for Waters Edge Elementary and Olympic Heights High School and the Donna Klein Jewish Academy board. In 2014 Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council where he served as CRA Vice- chair and Deputy Mayor during his tenure. He was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach transportation Planning Authority, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities.

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