Florida is a very grimy place when it comes to politics. It was on full display back in 2000, when George W. Bush and Al Gore were disputing the results there during the election. Florida is a swing state, and has been for awhile, so dirty politics is common there. The dirty politics has carried over to the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Opponents spreading reefer madness is not uncommon in Florida the last two election cycles, but something even fishier is going on in Broward County.
Two voters got their ballots in the mail, only to discover that Florida’s 2016 medical marijuana initiative was not on the ballot. That led to a lawsuit being filed by NORML. A judge just yesterday stated that she would rule quickly on the matter, but that overall she was satisfied with the steps taken by election officials. But, shortly after those statements were published by mainstream media, two more ballots turned up without the initiative on them. Per the Miami Herald:
Hours after a Broward judge said she was ready to rule quickly on a case about ballots missing the medical marijuana amendment, a new wrinkle appeared Tuesday evening: Two more voters found Amendment 2 missing on their ballots.
NORML of Florida, a group that supports reforming marijuana laws, filed a new emergency motion Tuesday night asking the court to hold a rehearing in its lawsuit against Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.
The voters “are victims of the respondent’s failure to carry out her constitutional duties and face the prospect of being deprived of the right to vote on matters of great public concern,” attorney Russell Cormican wrote in a new motion.
I have read all types of excuses for the debacle. The one that seems to be getting the most coverage is that humidity caused the ballots to not print…Admittedly, I’m not a humidity expert, but that doesn’t seem to make any sense at all. Another excuse offered up by election officials is that the ballots missing Amendment 2 were test ballots that weren’t supposed to go out. Whatever the reason is, the reaction so far from Florida election officials and the judge presiding over the issue has been ‘ho hum’ at best.
They act like because ballots are being replaced, there’s nothing to worry about and no need to investigate further. However, that’s not good enough. Requiring voters to take it upon themselves to report missing information from ballots in order to cast their vote for Amendment 2 is a huge undue burden on the voter, and clearly deprives voters from exercising their right to vote.