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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Challenging the Write-In Loophole 'Scam'



State Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Palm Beach County Democrat, has gone to court on behalf of the Florida Mainstream Democrats seeking to repeal Florida's so-called write-in loophole. That is the provision that closes a primary when only one party fields a candidate for an office. Both parties have used the loophole repeatedly since 2000 to undermine the ability of voters of one party to cast ballots in races where the only candidates are from the opposing party.

Despite efforts by Aronberg and others, the Legislature has repeatedly refused to close the loophole, which encourages dirty tricks by candidates and consultants and often deprives voters of a voice in contested primary elections.

The lawsuit, Jacobson v. Martin, was filed in Lake County Circuit Court by Ron Meyer, an elections lawyer in Tallahassee, in a case in which a last-minute Republican write-in candidate closed a County Commission primary.

Aronberg calls the write-in loophole a "scam" and says: "Politicians who benefit from the system have no incentive to change the system."   

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:12pm]


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