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October 24, 2006
 by Avi Klein
Avi Klein

If there was one predictable outcome of the whole Mark Foley episode, it was that Democrats were certain to pick up his seat. State law prevented Foley's removal from the ballot, and just last week a Florida court enjoined poll workers from posting signs instructing voters that ballots cast for the disgraced congressman would be transferred to Republican Joe Negron.

A story in today's Palm Beach Post suggests it won't be as easy as Democrats had hoped.

Early voting began yesterday, and Republican voters seem very aware that they should select Foley if they really want Negron. Jeb Bush has written a letter to voters explaining the issue, and Republican activists have been standing outside polling places distributing fliers to the same effect. "We wouldn't have voted for him if we thought it counted for Mark Foley," said one voter. "But Republicans are spreading the word." These efforts, no doubt, will ramp up as Election Day approaches, and with the GOP willing to spend $1 million to hold on to this traditionally Republican district, it looks like its going to be down to the wire. Stay tuned.

Avi Klein 2:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (4)
 
Comments

I don't understand how the premise that seems to be widely held - that votes for Foley will be counted as if they were votes for Negron - can be right or consistent with the Constitution.

Counting votes for Foley as if they were votes for Negron would seem to infringe the rights to votes for Mahoney. The right to vote includes the right to have your vote counted for the candidate you vote for; the right to have your vote weighted equally with the votes of those for every other candidate (so that if Mahoney gets 100 votes, Foley gets 25 votes, and Negron gets 90 votes, Mahoney wins). Counting Foley's votes as if they were Negron votes violates these basic premises, doesn't it?
Is the Democratic Party in Florida, or at the national level, paying attention and preparing for a court fight?

Posted by: Charles Sims on October 24, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Florida election law would rule here. It's possible that FL law says the GOP (or Dem) spot belongs to the party rather than the candidate and that if the party switches nominees late the votes go to the current nominee. Or not, I have no idea what FL law actually is, just that's it's possible to imagine a plausible version that would allow this.

Frankly, after 2000 it's possible to imagine FL election law says almost anything - especially after Scalia gets done interpreting it.

Posted by: just sayin' on October 24, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Negron's name does NOT appear on the ballot. Only Foley (R), Mahoney (D), and Ross (NA) will appear on the ballot. Negron only gets votes cast for Foley. He does not have some added bonus of getting votes cast for his name since it's not on the ballot. FL law states that after the primary results are certified, the party cannot remove the winner's name from the ballot. They can however designate those votes to go to a different person if the winner dies or is officially withdrawn before the general election.

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