Florida's Secretary Of State, and former beer lobbyist who currently oversees the state's elections, wants to double his budget request for next year by asking for $4 million in a presidential election year.
His reasoning? He needs that $4 million for "voter education and recount processes."
Detzner's budget proposal refers to "critically needed funds" to counties for increased voter education and other education administration activities for the 2016 primary and general elections." The money would be used for printing and mailing sample ballots, voter ID cards and ads explaining voting procedures, voting rights or voting technology, poll worker training; voter guides; online or web-based absentee ballot requestsand other issues. Oh, yes: In what every election supervisor will enjoy hearing, the extra money is also for "recount processes."
Given the history of voting shenanigans procedures since Rick Scott appointed Ken Detzner SOS (did I mention his prior experience for overseeing state elections was being a beer lobbyist?), I can't be the first person to cringe at this news.
Since Detzner signed on for the job, election procedures in Florida have been wrought with disaster. (See a long but partial list of examples in my archives here.) Between Scott and Detzner, the state has conducted voter purges that bumped legal voters off the rolls including an elderly veteran, restricted absentee ballots, and restricted voting on college campuses, just to name a few. They also oversaw the biggest embarrassment in the nation when people were still waiting in line to vote hours after the polls closed in the 2012 election, because Scott and Detzner thought less polling places in "certain" areas were a necessity to keeping the election running smoothly. I mean, the man even cited his own agency's incompetence at oversight to oppose online vote registration, a simple and easy way to register voters that numerous other states use that work just fine.
Let's just say it isn't only the voters who need educating. But doubling the budget to $4 million for a new plan to "educate" voters, reissue voter ID cards, provide for "voting technology," when the life of most voting machines are just about up, and, oh by the way, part of that $4 million will go into "recount processes" when they inevitably screw things up and need to bring in the lawyers during a presidential election. Can you say "Election 2000" and "Jeb Bush," who handed the election to his brother that year, and who just happens to be running for president himself next year?"
Let the nightmares begin.
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