The Note: Surprise Party

We love this lede from the Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves on former President Bill Clinton stumping for Kerry in Vegas: "He was an hour late. So when President Bill Clinton took the stage this afternoon at the Clark County Government Center amphitheater, the crowd acted like starving dogs presented with thick, juicy steak." LINK

The Washington Post's John Wagner looks at KE04's electoral prospects in North Carolina (read: not promising) as Sen. Edwards cast his vote in Raleigh. LINK

The Washington Post's Annie Gowen on last-ditch Democratic efforts to win Virginia, led by Gov. Mark Warner. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Florida:

Can you dig it? A calm day for Florida.. with Democrats actually praising the Secretary of State.

That's because they agree with the four pages of guidelines she issued for dealing with challenges at the polling sites.

"State law allows each political party and candidate to post a single preapproved poll watcher at each precinct. They must be registered to vote in that county, and they cannot be a candidate or law enforcement officer. While historically there to gauge voter turnout, this year some are expected to challenge voters. Under state law, they must do so in a sworn affidavit. Election workers on site are then charged with deciding if the challenge if valid." LINK

"Roberts' memo recommended supervisors designate areas in each precinct where a challenge might be resolved, away from the table where other voters are checking in. It also spelled out that the poll watchers' challenge must be substantiated by evidence. The memo also said that inclusion in the state's flawed felon voter database is not sufficient evidence. Hood discarded the list in July after critics found multiple flaws in the data."

"If a challenge is successful, the would-be voter must be offered the chance to cast a provisional ballot, the memo said. That would allow a voter to appeal the precinct workers' decision before the county canvassing board, which reviews all provisional ballots before they can be counted."

The Washington Post's Dale Russakoff looks at the huge number of in-person early voting around the country, Noting that voting data analyses peg the number of Floridians who've voted early or absentee numbers 1.5 million, and officials predict that at least 20 percent of RVs will have cast their ballots by Tuesday. LINK

Perhaps the biggest problem on election day in Florida: so many darn ballots to count. LINK

So who's winning the early vote in Florida? The GOP thinks they're doing very well, and it's true that have banked slightly more registered Republicans than Democrats have. But historically, the GOP in Florida has blown the Democrats away, and this year, the gap appears to be much narrower.

So both sides can claim success.

The Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia looks at the influence and political savvy of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, deemed "as smart as Karl Rove" by a longtime Democratic operative in the Sunshine State. And that savvy, coupled with his position overseeing the voting process in Florida, make him a target of criticism and controversy. LINK

"This is going to be the biggest election of our history and we will be there to shine the light on any efforts to keep people from voting," said Michael Moore, director of the Bush-bashing film "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore told a crowd of 3,000 in Miami Beach Friday. LINK

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