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[OPINION] On Voting: Who Wants Florida to Become California?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Is there anyone today who’s unaware of California’s huge, self-inflicted problems?

Every day brings more headlines about the Golden State’s soaring state budget deficits, sky high taxes, rising crime, rampant illegal immigration, the runaway homeless crisis, and corruption throughout state and municipal governments. As a result of these problems, all created by California’s feckless politicians, California’s middle-class citizens are fleeing in record numbers.

California’s dire problems are headed our way thanks to Tallahassee politicians. The leadership in both parties are colluding to rob you of your political rights.

Tallahassee elites are quietly trying to hijack our state’s electoral process, take away your voice, and bring California problems to Florida with a powerful one-two punch.

PUNCH ONE – JUNGLE PRIMARIES

Florida politicians from both parties are quietly working to force you to live under the disastrous California-style top-two primary system. Known as the “jungle primary,” legislators have been instructed by their corporate donors – those already responsible for forcing Florida’s taxpayers to subsidize the lives of nearly a million illegal aliens – to corrupt our electoral system. They want to replace it with one where only the wealthiest decide who wins political office and what legislation gets passed.

PUNCH TWO – BALLOT HARVESTING

Florida’s voter ID laws are designed to curb vote fraud. So far, so good. But our voter ID laws apply only to folks who cast their ballots at a polling place. They don’t stop fraud by people who vote absentee or mail-in.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER SO MUCH?

Because in 2016, 42% of all Florida votes cast were by mail. This year, experts predict that half or more of all Florida votes cast will be by mail.

If you’ve never heard the term “ballot harvesting,” here’s how it works: At election time, a “volunteer” shows up at your house and says they’re there to collect your mail-in ballot for you. Whether trusting or coerced, residents choose to hand over their ballots to the stranger who promises to turn the ballot in for them.

In reality, ballot harvesters are not Boy Scouts, but work for political candidates. Ballots are often opened and read. In Arizona, one of the many states that have banned ballot harvesting, workers were caught throwing away uncounted ballots because they were filled out “the wrong way.”

Harvesters are known to coerce voters, fill out ballots themselves, and collect ballots from illegal immigrants who are not allowed to vote.

In the past, Tallahassee had passed common sense laws designed to limit fraud with absentee or mail-in ballots. Non-election workers were banned from possessing two or more ballots and two witness signatures were required on all absentee ballot envelopes. Our party leaders took voter fraud seriously.

Inexplicably, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature suddenly abolished all of these safeguards against mail-in vote fraud. Worse, the GOP also created a big, fat loophole. Under recent law, except in Miami-Dade, candidates themselves and anyone who claims to be a “volunteer” can go door-to-door and harvest as many ballots as they can carry.

In the late 1990’s, Miami experienced a series of embarrassing scandals with absentee voting. Election results were delayed for days as boxes of suspicious ballots were turned in at the last minute. Miami-Dade officials solved the problem and outlawed ballot harvesting.

Will Tallahassee legislators keep protecting the fraud-ridden practice that’s been so utterly destructive in California? We will soon see.

Rep. Mike Hill (R-District 1) is keenly aware of California’s experience with ballot harvesting, and has sponsored new legislation in the House, HB1159,
to outlaw the practice statewide.

THE ONE-TWO PUNCH

Jungle primaries make ballot harvesting even more profitable, because the results of a primary can end with two Republicans or two Democrats on the same ballot in the general election. Just like in California.

Not surprisingly, the same legislators and corporate donors who protect the fraud-ridden practice are also against voter ID laws and requiring County Registrars to clean up their voter rolls.

Party bosses, Republican and Democrat, want to copy California and provide driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. They want to welcome more illegal immigrants to Florida, and thanks to the Federal Motor Voter law, give voting rights to all illegals.

If the citizens of Florida want to protect a primary system that’s served us for 100 years, if they want clean elections where only lawful citizens cast ballots, then it’s time to toss out the current crop of party bosses.

If Tallahassee politicians and their wealthy corporate donors get their way, Florida will quickly become another California, and Abraham Lincoln’s new mantra will be “of the legislator, by the legislator, and for the corporate special interest.”

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Alan Levy is a political consultant based in Tallahassee. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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