Skip to comments.RULING BLOCKS HOPEFUL VOTERS (GOOD NEWS FROM FLORIDA)
Posted on 10/27/2004 9:42:39 AM PDT by JesseHousman
Posted on Wed, Oct. 27, 2004
Thousands of Floridians won't be able to vote in five urban counties because they failed to complete their voter registration applications, a Miami federal judge said.
A Miami federal judge on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit that sought to allow thousands of Floridians to vote in next week's general election, saying county and state officials didn't have to process incomplete voter registration applications.
U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King ruled against three prospective voters who sued Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood and election supervisors in Duval, Orange, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
King said the voter applicants -- one from Miami-Dade and the other two from Duval -- could sue only their own county election supervisor, not the secretary of state or other county supervisors.
More important, King said Miami-Dade and Duval election supervisors acted legally when they deemed their voter applications incomplete by the Oct. 4 registration deadline.
King said the Miami-Dade plaintiff, Emma Diaz, a new U.S. citizen who failed to check off the voter registration box saying she was not mentally incapacitated to vote, ''created her own injury'' by not correcting the mistake by that deadline.
''I feel like crying,'' said Diaz, 23, of Miami Beach, whose application was received by the Miami-Dade election supervisor on Sept. 23. ``I thought I was at least going to get a chance, but no. I feel pretty offended because the ruling [said] that I caused this injury upon myself.
`PARTLY MY FAULT'
''I know it was partly my fault because I should have checked better, but I was very excited,'' added Diaz, who filled out her voter registration form right after being naturalized as a U.S. citizen on Sept. 17. ``I just filled it out and turned it in. I overlooked [the mental incapacity box] completely because I thought the most important thing was my driver's license number, Social Security number and date of birth.''
Lawyers who filed the suit on behalf of the three voter applicants as well as other plaintiffs such as the AFL-CIO said they plan to appeal immediately in the hope of resolving the issue before Tuesday's election. They recognized, however, that time was running out for the upcoming presidential election.
''They were wrongly denied a precious right to vote, which they thought they could exercise on Nov. 2,'' said Sheila Thomas, a lawyer for the Advancement Project, a social action group based in Washington, D.C. ``It's important for our clients to seek justice.''
Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for Hood, said the state was pleased by the decision.
''Once again, federal and state laws are very clear on which sections of the voter registration forms have to be filled out to deem that application complete,'' she said.
The decision is the latest from courts across the state that rejected attempts to broaden voter rights on touch-screen recounts, provisional ballots and early voting.
The federal suit involved potentially 14,000 people -- many of whom are African Americans and Hispanics -- who claim their voter registration forms were illegally rejected because they did not check off boxes for U.S. citizenship, felony status or mental capacity and did not provide an identification number such as a driver's license or Social Security.
They say that state and county election officials chose not to accept them because they have adopted unduly restrictive registration practices and procedures that violate federal and state laws. They contend that the box omissions ''are not material'' errors under federal law.
They also allege discrimination because a disproportionate number of rejected applicants are minorities.
But Hood, who is responsible for maintaining uniformity in elections throughout Florida, asserts that voter applicants must check off those four boxes. If not, Hood maintains, county election supervisors must reject their applications.
Despite those requirements, Florida's 67 election officials have some flexibility in interpreting voting laws, including registration. For example, after the three voter applicants and the unions filed suit on Oct. 13, Duval's supervisor of elections accepted more than 100 corrected registration forms -- including one resubmitted by a plaintiff in the federal case.
In addition, four of the five counties -- Broward, Miami-Dade, Duval and Orange -- agreed to accept hundreds of voter registration forms on which the applicants failed to check off the citizenship box, but signed an oath affirming they are U.S. citizens.
Herald Radio reporter Michael Hibblen contributed to this report.
...and she says, "I feel like crying," while I, personally, feel that a right-headed judge threw out a worthless lawsuit filed by a pinhead.
There are sane judges, thank God.
Could this be behind kerry's decision to give up on Florida? The knowledge that he could not get illegal votes must be disappointing.( I hope)
It is even more important for your clients to fill out the forms correctly.
I have no sympathy whatsoever for the Democrat whiners and their shyster lawyers who are trying to destroy the electoral fraud safeguards that are in place.
Poor, poor babe. My 20-year old son got registered at 18, and then verified via the county website that he's been registered, and voted once since then. Guess someone should have told her this was a Presidential election year sometime early this year.
You were given an opportunity to properly complete the registration form. You were given an opportunity to review the form and make certain you had filled in all areas. You signed the form saying it reflected your intentions. If you cannot vote because you ignored the box saying you were not mentally icapacitated, you have no one to blame but yourself. Do not place the blame on the judge. He is ruling based upon the law. Accept the fact that you made a mistake that cost you an opportunity to vote and no one but you is responsible.
What decision would that be?
His crap is on the TV 24/7!
How complicated can it be to complete a voter registration form?
I do have to say though...the GOP has done a poor job in countering the claims. They need to be out there painting the democrats as people who will do anything to be elected...even register illegal voters and try to overturn the rule of law.
Then again...I live in Texas and we see very few presidential or GOP ads outside of local elections. Maybe they are counter attacking this garbage and I just don't see it. Democratic voter fraud should be on every TV set in America all the time. The Ohio problem...the SD problem...the NY/FL double-voter problem....they should all be 24/7.
Last night Tony Snow on Fox informed viewers that kerry and his campaign have pulled out of Florida. Only ads that had already been purchased will be airing now.
"I know it was partly my fault because I should have checked better, but I was very excited."
I did the same thing back in 1976 because I got very excited and didn't check something. I've been married ever since and my daughter is now 27. :)
The local GOP people in Texas should be doing more. As for the President, he is virtually assured of winning Texas so his campaign has been concentrating on states where the outcome is more in doubt. Just this morning I heard that Bush has pulled even with kerry in NJ. Just a few weeks ago, Bush trailed by 14 points in NJ. So, it looks as though their efforts to work in states where the outcome ws in doubt or where there was a chance they could take a seat assumed safe for kerry was wise.
If you are really asking me about Florida, it is a snap.
Just bring in your state ID and take about 30 seconds to read and fill the form. The voter card is mailed to your home, and it shows you where you vote.
Hey, if my wife could do it...okay I'd better shut up now.
Hah, two early votes for Bush.
Just for fun, I asked if I could sign up my son (who was in a stroller), but they said no. :)
The brilliant thing about *mailing* the voter registration proof is that it filters out fake addresses.
The postman returns the rejected card from the fake address back to the state, where the fraudulent voter registration is pulled.
This works well because the deadline for *registering* is long enough ahead of the actual election for the bureaucrats to process most everything.
I think the fact that she may very well be mad as a hatter is important, too.
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