Thanks to allwho helped,home rule has prevailed once again and the dangerous pre-emption language giving all power to the State in matter of elections has been removed from two bills being pushed through the 2010 Florida legislature.
Pre-emption of all power over elections by the State would hurt voters by taking away
- their home rule
- their ability to protect their vote
- common-sense spot check audits of voting machines to verify accuracy
- the counties' ability to verify that voting machines paid for with taxpayer dollars are working correctly
The two bills that tried to give all power to the State in 2010 were SB900 and HB869.
A big thank you to the following people who helped defeat the pre-emption language:
- YOU, the voters, who called your State Senator and Representative
- The 15 statewide organizations who sent a joint letter of opposition to the Leadership in the State House and Senate, to key Committee chairs and to all members of the House of Representatives.
- The Sarasota County Commission, who sent a letter in opposition to the pre-emption language to Key Committtee chairs hearing the bills, and to Commissioner Jon Thaxton, who went to Tallahassee in defense of home rule in several bills before the legislature
- And to Representative Keith Fitzgerald, whose skill and knowledge of the rules, persuaded the sponsor to withdraw the pre-emption language from his amendments to HB869 in the last two weeks of the session.
Voters won a key victory in the February 11, 2010 Florida Supreme Court Decision in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. et al. v. Browning, et. al. that upheld the right of voters to meaningful spot check audits of voting machine accuracy. Now those common-sense audits that do not conflict with state law, remain, and the right of counties to protect their voters beyond the minimum standards set by the state is once again validated.