Just got mine in the mail from the County Elections office. (UPDATE) If you need a Sample Ballot for your county, PLEASE visit the state map listing the county Elections' offices. Each site should have a ballot on display for you to view.
EARLY VOTING cycle between October 20th to November 1st. Some may be traditionalists and wait until the Day itself, first Tuesday in November which is November 4th.
The key thing is to VOTE. GET THE VOTE OUT FLORIDA! I don't wanna see 39 percent or 42 percent turnout this midterms. I wanna see 76 percent! I WANNA SEE 90 PERCENT TURNOUT PEOPLE. Your vote, your voice, your POWER. VOTE DAMMIT.
But, you might say to the computer screen, I don't know what to vote on!
Well, then, glad you asked, lemme help you out here. Two basic rules:
1) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN and
2) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE FOR THAT DAMN CROOK RICK SCOTT.
That doesn't help us much, Mr. Blogger you say can you speel it out for us?
Sigh. Fine. Let's go through the ballot topics. Federal first:
1) There is no Senate seat contested (per the 2/3 cycle), so wait until 2016 to vote Marco Rubio out.
2) Any Congressional district you are in that has a Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate, VOTE DEMOCRAT. Any district you are in that has a Republican candidate and a Libertarian candidate, vote for a valid Write-In Candidate. Any district where there's a Republican and a No-Party-Affiliate candidate only, vote for the NPA (unless you know the NPA personally as an -sshole, in which case sue the state for emotional damages). Any district where there's a Republican candidate unchallenged, curse the Old Gods and The New and volunteer to campaign next election on the ballot because dammit you gotta vote that crooked Bent-For-Destruction GOP out of power.
If you're in District 9, vote Alan Grayson. District 10, vote Alan Cohn. District 17, vote Will Bronson. District 3, vote Marihelen Wheeler. District 12... District 12... BILIRAKIS IS RUNNING UNOPPOSED?!?! DAMMIT DEMOCRATS, YOU COWARDS. Whadda ya gonna do, let Bilirakis sit there in office until he retires to let his son inherit the seat the same way Gus inherited it from Mike?! 30-plus years of the same family running a little fiefdom in North Pinellas/West Pasco?! DAMMIT.
Anyway, any seat where there's a Democrat and a Republican, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD VOTE DEMOCRAT. Let Gus represent the GOP all on his loneso... whadda ya mean there's other unchallenged Republican seats?! /headdesk
Next up, the Governor and state official races:
1) VOTE CHARLIE CRIST for governor. He did a decent job as governor before (made efforts to protect the environment, played fair with the electorate, vetoed a bad and unpopular education bill), not a partisan hack like Scott nor a pocket-lining greedhead like Scott.
2) For Attorney General, vote George Sheldon. Bondi has been a disaster as AG for Florida: pursuing bad anti-gay and anti-voter court rulings, failing to go after utilities for unfair price hikes, and refusing to pursue many of the conflicts-of-interest cases floating around our state government. She's been Scott's partner in crime than representing the people's interests. Sheldon can and should go after the utilities above anything else and will protect the rights of voters and the citizenry over the needs of any partisan in office.
3) For Chief Financial Officer... aaaaaaaauuugggggghhhhhh. There's a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot, but the papers are complaining about the Democratic Will Rankin's lackluster campaigning and are noting that the Republican Jeff Atwater has actually done an honest job of things in Tallahassee. Don't do this to me, Florida Dems...
4) For Agricultural Commissioner (which also covers consumer services for some reason)... dammit. Democrats have another lackluster guy in Thad Hamilton running against Republican Adam Putnam who again has a solid record per the local papers. Thing is... dammit dammit dammit, cannot vote for ANY Republican at any level of office, it just encourages the party wingnuts to be worse... On the bright side, the Agriculture slot has a Write-In ballot space. Find a viable write-in candidate and file a protest vote!
Now for the State legislative offices, both Senate and House:
1) What part of FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN have you not noticed yet?
2) For the Senate seats, there are almost no challenged seats, so there's few if any choices. Of the 20 seats for election, there are only 5 challenges, meaning two Democrats and 13 Republicans are returning to Tall Hassle unopposed (!). If there are ANY of those seats with a Write-In ballot choice, I recommend you fill in that Write-In as a protest vote against this ridiculous incumbency.
3) For the House seats, again there are few (less than 30 percent of them) if any challenged seats. Again this is an insult to the voters that our state-level parties (especially the Democrats) are COWARDS when it comes to forcing incumbents to answer for their legislative sins. Again, if there are ANY seats with a Write-In ballot choice, fill in the Write-In ballot as a protest vote and slap some fear into both parties.
For the Judicial Retention votes:
Remember last election, Rick "No Ethics" Scott and his buddies tried to actively vote out judges in order to fill those vacancies with his pro-Scott cronies. It was the first time ever there was a partisan effort against the judges. As long as Scott is in office, VOTE TO KEEP THE JUDGES (It helps that none of them up for vote have been embarrassments or crooked on the bench).
For the State Amendments on the ballot:
As I wrote earlier, we're down to three so it keeps it short and simple.
VOTE YES ON 1 to protect our wetlands and environment and water supply.
VOTE YES ON 2 to allow for medicinal marijuana and provide an end to the disastrous War on Drugs.
VOTE NO ON 3 to stop Rick Scott from preemptively packing the state courts with his cronies.
For any county-level or city-level tax referendums (referenda? damn my Latin which plural form fits...):
Vote YES on any tax hike program because F-CK YOU Grover Norquist. Granted, this is more a knee-jerk reaction to the tax-cutting frauds dominating our discourse, but dammit too many of our public services at the county level are getting slashed and burnt here. Okay, I'll relent: if the tax hike in question is a blatant attempt at lining someone's (a rich corporation) pockets, then don't vote for it. But if it's for needed social services, please vote YES.
I think there's a rail funding program for Pinellas County on the ballot. DEFINITELY VOTE YES on Greenlight, Pinellas County: our metro areas need alternative transit options.
Also, for the Pasco County Mosquito Control Board? Seat Two has four candidates and I don't know a single one of 'em. You're gonna have to vote for who you know, Pasco County. (Update 10/25/14: there have been two people commenting that they found my article trying to figure out who to vote to be their Mosquito Hunter Expert, upset I didn't make a recommendation. So I did some research to dig up any kind of newspaper list, and so far the Tampa Bay Times Recommends list... doesn't make one either! Sorry, folks, you're gonna have to ask around about which of the four - Matthew "Skeeter" (?) Abbott, Bill Law, Niko Tzoumas, or Jerry Wells - to pick...)
Okay, voters reading this blog, that should help you make your informed decisions on Election Day/Early Voting/Mail-in Balloting.
GO VOTE. Tell your friends to vote. Tell your family to vote. Tell your co-workers to vote. If your co-workers say they can't vote during the workday, encourage your co-workers to vote on the weekend (including a Sunday October 26th!) during the Early Voting period.
AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN.