Hero of the Week Award: June 15, County Election Supervisors in Florida

15 Jun

Hero of the Week

How nice to be able to celebrate 67 elected officials in one award this week! Election supervisors in every county in Florida have stood by their principles and refused to participate in the illegal voter purge that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is intent on carrying out.

In an effort to make Florida 2012 a repeat of Florida 2000, Scott and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner are trying to block voting rights for thousands of Floridians. The program is being conducted under the guise of removing non-citizens and other ineligible people from the voting rolls. Curiously, however, the people targeted trend heavily Hispanic and Democrat. Voters are told that they will not be able to vote unless they appeal and appear in person within 30 days. This is a heavy burden for poor or elderly voters who are also heavily targeted.

A few election supervisors noted early on that the list of voters to purge was deeply flawed. (In Miami-Dade, for example, the false hits on the list outnumber the non-citizens 50-to-1!) They asked the Secretary of State to halt the program until it could be refined and were told NO. The purge is also a violation of the National Voter Registration Act under at least two sections. Purges cannot be conducted during a 90-day quiet period before a Federal election and with the Florida primary in August, that window is closed. Florida also has to comply with Federal review guidelines for any purges because of racist history in its voting practices.

Fortunately for Florida’s voters, County Election Supervisors have the final say on who is registered to vote — and with all 67 telling the Secretary of State to take his list and shove it, the purge is effectively halted. Says Ion Sancho of Leon County, one of the most vocal opponents of the purge,

We’re just not going to do this. I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.

Great to see these men and women doing the jobs they were elected to do and protecting the innocent. Bonus points to the U.S. Department of Justice, which is taking Florida to court over this blatant abuse of power.

Thank you to TSM reader and LGBT ally Voice of the Trailer for this week’s Honorable Mention which goes to The Department of Defense.  The Pentagon announced Thursday that it will be commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride later this month.
“The Defense Department is planning an LGBT Pride Month event for later this month,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Laniez said in a statement issued Thursday.
Press Secretary George Little said senior Defense Department officials will take part in the event, but had no other details. It was just a year ago, a member of the military faced punishment or discharge if he or she admitted being homosexual, but last September the administration scrapped the policy known as “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Progress!  Thank you Department of Defense.

10 Responses to “Hero of the Week Award: June 15, County Election Supervisors in Florida”

  1. bradfairchild June 15, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    very good on the dept of defense! it’s amazing. these voter purges are terrible though — i’d like to see criminal charges brought against those who are denying citizens their most fundamental right.

  2. Christine Noble June 15, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Boo-friggin-yah!!!! I was listening to APC on my earbuds, at Starbucks, when I read your opening paragraph and did, perhaps, an overenthusiastic fist pump! Now we just need to fit Gov. Scott with an orange jumper.

  3. nevercontrary June 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    It blows my mind what politicians are allowed to get away with so long as the fool the fox news viewers, which of course is far too easy.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      At least in this case they did the right thing.

      • Christine Noble June 16, 2012 at 10:46 am #

        Absolutely. Obviously I am an unrepentant lefty, but you know out of those 67 people, several of them had to be Republican and took a stand against someone who ostensibly is one of their own.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 16, 2012 at 11:02 am #

        Great point, Christine and well worth underscoring.

  4. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 4, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Thank you for sharing my article.


  1. Celebrating the 14th Amendment: Long May It Stand? | Portland Occupier - August 4, 2012

    […] Bigot) Scott did not get his way as he was working with the Secretary of State in Florida to prevent people from voting. Sadly we still need to worry about bigots like Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike […]

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