Early voting to begin Monday

Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2:21 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Early voting is set to begin Monday for the Jan. 29 Florida primary and property tax referendum.

Early voting is designated by law to begin 15 days before an election. Residents interested in voting early should check with their local elections office for locations.

Voters who don't want to make a trip to the elections office can also request an absentee ballot from their county's supervisor of elections by mail or by phone. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Jan. 23.

The state Legislature moved up its primary last year to Jan. 29 so that it would have more effect, even though Democratic and Republican party rules state it should take place no sooner than Feb. 5. The national parties have punished Florida by stripping the state of all Democratic delegates and half its Republican delegation to the national nominating conventions.

Because Florida is a closed primary state, only Democrats and Republicans can vote in those primaries. But anyone can vote for the state's property tax referendum.

The proposal would double their existing $25,000 homestead exemption for homes valued at more than $50,000 but only for non-school taxes. It also would let homeowners take their Save Our Homes benefits along with they move.

Other provisions would give businesses a break on taxes they pay on equipment and other personal property, and put a 10 percent cap on annual assessment increases for non-homestead properties although they rarely increase that much.

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