Problems Rampant in Florida Election; Janet Reno Trails In Gubernatorial Primary
Former US Attorney General Janet Reno was trailing her opponent Bill McBride following yesterday’s Democratic primary in the race for Florida’s governor. Early today, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, McBride had 596,472 votes, or 45 percent, compared with Reno's 577,380 votes, or 43 percent, according to the Associated Press. However, final results were not yet in because the state faced significant voting problems – despite the $30 million spent to improve its voting system after major problems in the 2000 presidential elections.
In the first statewide election since the 2000 race, voters faced malfunctioning voting machines and closed or short-staffed polling places. Several polling places in Miami and its suburbs opened late and in 14 counties across the state, ballots jammed and tore in some machines, poll workers left their posts in frustration and some Democratic voters were given Republican ballots, according to the New York Times. Acting on a request from Reno, Governor Jeb Bush agreed to allow the polls to stay open late. Reno is considering filing suit to challenge the results of the primary election, according to the Associated Press.
“It is unbelievable and inexcusable that after the fiasco in November 2000, Florida officials – from Governor Bush to county election supervisors – did not do everything possible to prevent this kind of disenfranchisement from happening again,” wrote the People for the American Way in a media advisory. As the first woman appointed US Attorney General, Reno, who served during the Clinton administration, championed such causes as violence against women and the protection of abortion rights.
In other Florida election news, the referendum to overturn an ordinance protecting lesbians and gay men from discrimination in Miami-Dade County looks like it will not pass, according to NBC’s KPVI TV. With most of the votes counted, the measure was trailing with 47 percent of the vote. The referendum was approved to go on the ballot despite the fact that several members of the religious groups who organized a petition drive to obtain the referendum, including Antonio Verdugo, head of the Miami-Dade Christian Coalition, were arrested for electoral fraud.
Media Resources: Washington Post 9/11/02; New York Times 9/11/02; People For The American Way Media Advisory 9/10/02; Associated Press 9/11/02; KPVI NBC News 9/11/02
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10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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