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FL Lawsuit over voter registration

Old 10-19-04, 12:17 PM
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FL Lawsuit over voter registration

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...a-news-broward


Lauderhill woman files suit over own registration error

By Jean-Paul Renaud
Staff Writer
Posted October 15 2004

In yet more litigation against election officials, a 77-year-old Lauderhill woman filed a lawsuit against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Secretary of State Glenda Hood on Thursday afternoon for violating her right to vote.

Inez Williams was removed from the voter rolls because she neglected to check a box on her voter registration form that asked whether she was a U.S. citizen, according to the lawsuit filed in a Gainesville federal district court. She did, however, sign the oath affirming her citizenship.

"That box appears to us to be the one thing that is completely redundant with the oath," said her attorney, JoNel Newman of Florida Legal Services, which has partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union in this case. "I can't think of a reason other than to exclude qualified voters. I can't see how this furthers any interests."

Williams, a Jamaican native who said she has voted in every election since becoming a citizen 30 years ago, moved from New York in May. Two months later, she registered to vote and in September received a letter from the Broward County Department of Elections telling her she had neglected to check the citizenship box, she said. But she missed the 45-day deadline given to her to return the letter confirming her citizenship.

"I didn't think it necessary to return it because I know I had filled all the information the first time," said Williams.
"I never thought that it would happen here. I am proud and happy to be an American citizen. America has giving me gainful employment, and I don't see why I should not have the right to vote."

The lawsuit challenges instructions sent by Hood in September to all 67 county election supervisors requesting the disqualification of voter registration applications if the citizenship box was omitted, according to the ACLU.

Although elections officials in some counties, including Miami-Dade, Leon and Orange, are accepting the forms if voters signed the oath, Broward County has rejected the forms of voters who didn't check the citizenship box, according to the ACLU.

Two similar lawsuits, one by the Florida Democratic Party in Gainesville and the other by the AFL-CIO in Miami, have been filed stating similar complaints. Florida Department of State officials say their intent is not to infringe upon voter's rights.

"The Department of State is complying with federal and state laws as it relates to voter registration," said Alia Faraj, spokeswoman with the department.

Attorneys have asked the court for an emergency hearing before the Nov. 2 election.






she didn't fill out the form right the first time. they told her and gave her 45 days to fix the mistake. she refused, and now she's suing?
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Old 10-19-04, 12:18 PM
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I think the mantra of this election is "Sue now, think later."
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Old 10-19-04, 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
I think the mantra of this election is "Sue now, think later."
Better than last election. Both candidates sued and neither did any thinking later.
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Old 10-19-04, 01:14 PM
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If she can't check the correct box on the voter registration form, how can we expect her to vote correctly? We let her vote, and next she will be suing because she accidently voted for Nader.
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Old 10-19-04, 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by chess
Better than last election. Both candidates sued and neither did any thinking later.
Let us remember who sued first.. because they didn't like the results
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Old 10-19-04, 01:17 PM
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Especially when she received a letter saying there was a problem and couldn't correct it within 45 days. I'm sure she can't vote correctly.
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Old 10-19-04, 02:47 PM
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I wonder if she was looking for a lawsuit.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:27 PM
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Well it's asinine for the Sec of State Glenda Hood to throw out ballots because a box wasn't checked, when the affidavit of citizenship is signed by the individual on the form. Letter or no letter, this is the real problem with the state of Florida. The people in charge of the election process are partisan with no checks on their authority.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by VinVega
The people in charge of the election process are partisan with no checks on their authority.
Excuse my true ignorance. Do you say this because Democrats are less likely to check a box than Republicans?
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Old 10-19-04, 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
Excuse my true ignorance. Do you say this because Democrats are less likely to check a box than Republicans?
What else could one conclude, considering the fact that the chief complainants in the various lawsuits are the ACLU, the Florida Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by VinVega
Well it's asinine for the Sec of State Glenda Hood to throw out ballots because a box wasn't checked, when the affidavit of citizenship is signed by the individual on the form. Letter or no letter, this is the real problem with the state of Florida. The people in charge of the election process are partisan with no checks on their authority.
it seems stupid, but if that's the rule, why is it hard to follow? especially after being warned about it and given a chance to fix it? how is that partisan?
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Old 10-19-04, 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by Venusian
it seems stupid, but if that's the rule, why is it hard to follow? especially after being warned about it and given a chance to fix it? how is that partisan?
Democrats should not be expected to follow the rules in Florida. Haven't you learned that yet? To expect that would be racist and you would be disenfranchising people.

Last edited by General Zod; 10-19-04 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 10-19-04, 06:10 PM
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I could understand her complaint if she had not recieved notification of the error, until it was too late, but she had 45 days to fix it and and made a conscience decision not to.

I do believe that many people in Florida got screwed out of their right to vote last election, but this woman screwed herself and has no one else to blame. Sure I think the Broward County officials are being dickheads by not accepting the voter applications over a redundant checkbox question, but for fucks sake, it's not like they just tossed it aside without saying anything and then told her on election day she could not vote, she had 45 freaking days to fix the damn thing! Stupid Stupid Stupid!
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Old 10-19-04, 07:25 PM
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It's gotta be one way or the other. Either everything needs to be filled out completely and correctly to count, or it's a free-for-all. Anything else will simply be used by either/both parties however and whenever it benefits their side.

We've seen this in every facet of public elections... from voter registration, to candidate petitions, right out to the actual votes.
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