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Expect to see a crowded Florida ballot in November

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Florida voters might be taken by surprise at the polls when they go to cast their votes in the presidential race.

Surely they will notice the presidential incumbent, Barack Obama, and the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.

But they will likely raise their eyebrows when they come across the candidate from the Peace and Freedom Party, Roseanne Barr.

Yes, the same Emmy Award-winning Roseanne Barr whose claims to fame include her eponymous television sitcom and a hair-raising rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a San Diego Padres game.

Florida’s ballot will be crowded. Voters will have their pick of 12 candidates for the Oval Office. Only Colorado’s ballot features more presidential candidates, with 17 players in the race.

Bradford County Supervisor of Elections Terry Vaughan said the crowding comes as the result of a change to the state constitution in 1998 that modified requirements and paved an easier road for candidates from minor political parties to appear on the ballot.

While a Democratic or Republican candidate would have to win the nomination for their party, minor-party candidates have to attend a national convention, be on the ballot in at least one other state and file the necessary qualifying papers with the Division of Elections in Tallahassee before having their names listed in Florida.

“As a result, it’s going to be a very crowded ballot,” Vaughan said.

The November elections will also address 11 amendment issues. Accordingly, Vaughan recommended that voters fill out sample ballots to aid them at the polls.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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