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Florida's Elections and How we Must Repair the Tainted Fatal Flaws of Democracy by Lorenzo Canizares

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ABC News: Judge find no fraud in Florida Elections as Alleged by Senator-elect Rick Scott

(I am pleased to introduce to OpEdNews readers this important article by my Facebook Politico friend, Lorenzo Canizares. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Keystone Progress, retired from the Pennsylvania State Education Association as a labor community organizer, studied Eastern European History at St. Peter's University, lives in Miami and is originally from Havana, Cuba. You will be hearing more and more from Lorenzo: he is a prolific and serious writer of political treatises and opinions that are both incisive and valuable.)Stephen Fox

Finally, the Florida recount is over.

The three statewide races ended either in machine or manual recount with Democrats winning one and losing two. No offense to Nikki Fried who won the State Agricultural Commissioner seat, the two most coveted races were lost by the Democrats. The losses were razor-thin. As per the New York Times (11/21/18) Rick Scott defeated Bill Nelson by 12,603 votes out of 8,172,775 statewide votes tallied. What's also is important to point out that Nelson won the three counties of South Florida where the money is in Florida by 538, 496 votes. Following the pattern across the nation that better-off states vote Democrat while the poor ones vote Republican.

Be mindful that in Florida a full recount is initiated when the spread is .5 percent or less. This calls into question how it was possible that Scott in election night would move to declare victory when it was obvious that the election results were going into recount? The desire to repeat Jeb Bush's performance in the 2000 election was in the mind of Scott's team. Force your will into victory. Why is this important? Because the mindset was there from the get-go that whatever needed to be done to assure victory will be done.

But, that mindset was not just developed on election night. That mindset played a role in many aspects of the election. Many are questioning the design of the Broward County ballot. There were 24,000 under-counted ballots in Broward. Under-counted means that 24,000 people that voted for governor didn't vote in the Senate race. The choice for Senator, through ballot design, became a little difficult to perceive. A colleague from the Labor Community Alliance from South Florida that lives in Broward told me that after he finished filling his ballot, he realized that he hadn't voted for Senator and then he had to carefully search the very wordy ballot to find the place where the choice for senator was placed. Makes you wonder how many people remembered to vote for Senator.

The question of the ballot in Broward is especially significant because Broward is by far the most Democratic leaning county in the State of Florida. Nelson outvoted Scott in Broward by 69 percent to 31 percent. The Supervisor of the Broward County of Elections, Brenda Snipes, who just resigned a couple of days ago, her elected position is nominally a Democrat that was appointed to her position in 2003 by former Republican Governor Jeb Bush. Ms. Snipes has a long history of incompetence or malfeasance depending on the prism with which you wish to evaluate her performance.

Ms. Snipes is a close friend of the Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL.CD23) of Wiki-Leaks fame who also used to be the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In 2016 Debbie Wasserman Schultz was involved in a very close primary race in her District. She was declared the winner in her primary race. But, her opponent Tim Canova, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, requested to examine the ballots. Canova couldn't examine the ballots because the ballots, against Florida State law, had been thrown out. This could have been enough of a good reason for Governor Scott to fire Ms. Snipes. But, he didn't. It makes any honest observer wonder if Ms. Snipes was allowed to continue in her post because her incompetence and pliable character could come in handy in a future election.

To conclude: Stacey Abrams said in Georgia that she couldn't do anything more legally to win her election, but that she was not conceding because she realized the process in Georgia was geared towards a previously desired outcome. The dignity shown by Stacey Abrams, and also by Andrew Gillum here in Florida, is a good start for the elections of 2020.

We have to prevent these occurrences of people in position of power having a major decision making power in how elections are conducted in which they themselves are candidates.

We know how tainted our democracy has become. This tainting and these fatal flaws have to come to an end. Let's figure out how precisely to bring about the finale of this mess and move into a future with honest and fair elections in each of the 50 states.

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I am a union organizer that resides in Harrisburg,PA. I have been active in progressive struggles for many years. My articles have been published in several places, the latest being in my Local newspaper Harrisburg's Patriot-News as an Op-Ed.
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Florida's Elections and How we Must Repair the Tainted Fatal Flaws of Democracy by Lorenzo Canizares

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