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Preparedness Recommended For Voting On Amendments

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

David-Sutta-600x450 David Sutta
David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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campaign 2012 new2 Preparedness Recommended For Voting On Amendments

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Whether you vote early, by absentee, or on Election Day we want to warn you again you will be facing what many say is the longest ballot in history.  And filling it out isn’t exactly a cake walk.

On Thursday, CBS4 had a couple of voters chosen at random to go through it to see just how problematic it can be.

Armed with sample November ballots, CBS4’s David Sutta took to Florida International University’s student union.  We met 18-year-old Conner Tamburino, a biology freshman, excited about his first election.

“I get a Presidential election so that’s pretty cool right off the bat.  It’s like, hey, you get to decide the future.” Tamburinos said.

We also found veteran voter, 41 year old Jean Sainteius.  We told both men to treat the sample ballot like they are in the voting booth.

Both men were then given the ballot to fill out.  Both had no clue we were timing them or what our story was about.

After 14 minutes Tamburino was done.

“It’s going to jar them a bit,” Tamburino told us after filling out the ballot.

He was referring to anyone who hadn’t seen the ballot before Election Day.

Tamburino said he discovered picking presidents is easy work but amendments, some as long as a page, are not.  While he knew a great deal or was able to understand many of them, a few were quite confusing.

When we asked him to explain what he voted on it was clear the amendments weren’t as clear as he thought.

“Even I struggled with it.” he said.  One amendment he mistook as a break on property taxes when actually it was a break for small businesses.  Once we explained it to him he fired back, “Well that’s a lot easier to understand.”

A closer look at his ballot we noticed he voted for it.

“By accident?” I asked. “By accident.  It was a good accident.” he responded.

While Tamburino was brave enough to give it a shot, we found Sainteius was actually flying through the ballot.  Just under 14 minutes he wrapped up his voting.

“It’s very long. It’s a lot.” he said.

Upon review, we found he skipped every constitutional amendment.

Sainteius explained “I would read these definitely.  Because they are very much important for me.”

Yet he didn’t fill it out.  Was it overwhelming? Sutta asked.

“It’s a lot.  It’s too much,” he said.

Flipping over half the ballot is something he says many voters will do.

“It’s natural.  It’s human beings. They will.  They will.”  Sainteius said.

That’s exactly what people backing amendments fear.  Attorney Juan Bauta, who supports some of the amendments says it should be concerning.

“When you create this haystack of things people get frustrated and I’m curious to see how many people get to end of the ballot,” Bauta said.

Sainteius estimates to do it right he may have needed 45 minutes.

“These tell me how necessary early voting is,” said Sainteius.

Both men said they’ll do more homework between now and when they vote for real.

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