Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Florida voters say they were blocked from polling site inside gated community. (The Hill)

I oppose voting in churches and gated communities. Let's use public schools and give students and public school employees the day off so that they can campaign for their favorite candidates.   It's bad enough that gated communities and churches intimidate voters, but writing checks to churches and gated communities from Supervisors of Elections is yet another example of waste, fraud and abuse.

Florida voters say they were blocked from polling site inside gated community

Voters in Florida’s Broward County are complaining of voter suppression after being blocked from accessing a public polling site that was moved inside a gated community.
Florida NPR-affiliate WLRN reported several voter complaints about the precinct in Le Club Century Village.
Voters said that security guards at the entrance to the gated community were refusing to let them through without showing ID, prompting long lines and confrontations.
Katherine Polizzi, a Florida voter, told WLRN that the situation felt like “voter suppression,” because the state does not require ID for voters casting provisional ballots.
She also raised concerns that the security guards worked for a private company, saying “Who are they? And what are they doing with my information?”
Polizzi told WLRN that the guards ultimately let her through without showing ID, but not without argument.
The Broward Supervisor of Elections Office received complaints about the polling location in the state’s August primary elections, according to WLRN, who obtained the complaints through a public records request. The polling place was previously located at a community center not located in the gated community.
Patricia Santiago, an assistant to Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, told WLRN that the office was not “aware” of the primary complaints.
She said that the office is “trying to talk to the facility to see if they will accept” not taking IDs on Election Day, but that the gated community has refused due to concerns about resident safety.
Voters in Florida are casting ballots in a number of key races. The state’s gubernatorial race between former Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D), and the Senate battle between Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D), have drawn national attention.
Both races have been shown to be neck-and-neck in recent polls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think churches can be OK, so long as they manage to conduct the polling and whatnot in an area without any religious messages, or if they remove whatever religious items that they can (pamphlet displays, etc).

The one benefit of churches is they often have decent parking and can accommodate a large crowd and lots of vehicular traffic. Of course, there's always the problem that some people aren't comfortable even being near a church.

Using schools and giving kids the day off would be great, too - especially if we made election day a federal holiday, giving some parents the day off also. Most high schools are able to accommodate cars and crowds as well, since they regularly have things like football games. Elementary and middle schools aren't quite as equipped, but since most of the staff would be off there'd likely be plenty of parking.

If the gated community is sufficiently large (to warrant its own polling place), then sure - set up a polling place inside it, but establish polling places outside the gates, too. Don't make people deal with security guards just go to vote - that is suppression. If you can only afford one of those two options, then keep it outside the gated community.

We've also got to get rid of voter ID laws and matching signature laws on mail-in ballots.