Muslim Voter Drive Swamps County Office



Get-out-the-vote groups dropped off so many voter registration applications
that the Broward elections office will be hard-pressed to get
identification cards to the new voters before the Aug. 31 primary.

All summer, organizers from a Muslim group called ''Voting is Power'' have
been sending workers door to door through low-income and minority
neighborhoods of South Florida. They've signed up 3,000 new voters, whose
forms they proudly dropped at the Broward Supervisor of Elections office
the day the books closed on the voter roll for the primary.

The huge stack of applications forced the elections office to pay workers
overtime to process them, and some new voters may not get voter ID cards
before the election.

''They'll probably get there, but it's going to be very close,'' said
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. ''They've really put our
backs against the wall.''

Thousands of registrations are streaming in from grass-roots voter
organizations hoping to mobilize high turnout among like-minded people on
Nov. 2. The organizations often hold on to the registration forms long
enough to enter them in their own database. That way, they can call or
visit people before the elections and urge them to vote.

ACORN, the organization supporting the statewide campaign to raise the
minimum wage, dropped off 2,400 voter registration forms three days after
the Aug. 2 deadline.

Those new voters won't be able to vote in the primary, Snipes said, and
it's unlikely they will get voting cards until just before the Nov. 2 election.

Snipes said she appreciated the hard work put into signing up new voters,
but the volume of paper was overwhelming her staff at the last minute...

''I'm very concerned that they might not get their voter registration
cards,'' said Bret Wask, the South Florida director of the Voting is Power
campaign.

The group, which is affiliated with the Muslim American Society, has a
door-to-door campaign designed to get out the vote among Muslims. They're
focusing on states with large Muslim populations as well as battleground
states such as Florida

 


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