Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Voting in Florida

I have no idea how “fair and balanced” it is, but Slate has a very scary article about voting in Florida, and how the system hasn’t gotten any better since 2000. A couple choice grafs:

Florida’s political culture derives from several different regions—the north, near Georgia, has more in common with the southern part of the United States; the south with Latin America—so election fraud tends to differ in the two regions. In the northern part of the state, for example, sheriffs have been known to let certain boxes of ballots—thought to be unfavorable to a particular politician—fall out of their squad cars and tumble into the Gulf of Mexico. In the south, notably Miami-Dade, a remarkable number of dead people have been known to rise up and make it to the polls….

But it is in the “low-tech area” of absentee ballots, as Miami Herald columnist Jim DeFede puts it, “that things get really funky.” Most critically, Hood and Gov. Bush have championed a new state law that abolishes Florida’s longtime requirement that absentee ballots be witnessed. While some other states, like California, do not require witnesses, no state has Florida’s history of institutional vote fraud…. [B]y doing away with the witness requirement, Hood, Gov. Bush, and the Florida Legislature have removed the only existing brake on absentee-voter fraud. It’s now open season in the Sunshine State….

Then there is the issue of the felon list. Florida is one of only seven states that does not automatically restore a felon’s voting rights after his or her release from prison (another of the ignored recommendations made by the commission Jeb Bush created)…. Most will have to face the state’s clemency board chaired by Gov. Bush and two other Republican officials. There is no appeal process. One veteran official with Florida’s Corrections Department, who asked for anonymity, noted that, “We have the president’s brother deciding whether people get to vote or not vote, which strikes me as a conflict of interest.”

1 Comment

  1. It’s worse than that. Check out Bob Herbert’s past couple of NYT columns.

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