Friday, January 19, 2018
Politics

City worker improperly blocked at polls twice, lawyer says

ST. PETERSBURG — Angela Owens had stopped into Kissin' Cuzzins' for banana pancakes Tuesday morning when she heard about the man they wouldn't let vote.

Owens, a 44-year-old Tampa attorney, had spent all morning at the polls helping people: a new citizen voting in his first election, a Spanish-speaking woman who needed a translator.

She calls herself a voter protection lawyer. Her Facebook group is "Stop Voter Suppression Now." She volunteered to help anyone who had issues casting a ballot.

At 11:30 a.m., Owens was meeting the Rev. Manuel L. Sykes, the president of the local NAACP chapter, to see what other cases she could address, when a young woman got up from her booth to greet them. Sykes asked whether she had voted. The young woman told them about her boyfriend.

"We went downtown to early vote on Saturday," Kenyata Golden explained. "And they told him his address didn't match the one on their rolls, or something. Then they brought up a probation violation from 1999."

Her boyfriend thought that was behind him. He had voted in 2008. "It doesn't make any sense," Golden said.

Owens looked up the man on her iPad and found his conviction (for stealing sneakers at a K-mart in high school) and his probation violation (for being in a park after hours when he was in college).

Then she found a Certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights. "He got his voting rights back," she told Sykes. "We can fix this."

Owens got the clemency office to fax the paperwork to her.

"Good news," she told the man on his cell. "You can vote."

Adul Yates had been so angry since Saturday. Yates, 35, had just been promoted by the city of St. Petersburg, where he cleans parks. He helps coach wrestling at Boca Ciega High. He had passed background checks, had voted since he was 18.

So when Owens called Yates Tuesday afternoon, he was ecstatic. "I so appreciate this."

"I'm just so happy to end the day like this," Owens said.

Yates walked into his Coquina Key precinct — then walked back out. "They said my name isn't in their book," he told Owens.

On the phone, Owens learned from elections officials that Yates had been removed in 2010.

"Did you send him any notification?" asked Owens. A notice was sent, said the official — to an address in Gainesville where Yates hasn't lived since 2007.

He could fill out a provisional ballot, the official said.

"But will his vote be counted?" asked Owens. The official couldn't say.

Comments

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Here’s what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Here’s what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES — There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Published: 01/18/18
Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker is opening a new chapter in his life. So far, the future remains an open book.The former two-term mayor announced Sunday that he’s resigning his position as president of the Edwards Group effective Jan. 31.Baker has worked...
Published: 01/18/18
Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH — Voters here can either end or continue the city’s divisive politics on March 13. They will also decide how the city grows.The two commission seats that now represent pro-growth and pro-devel...
Published: 01/18/18
Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Chris Christie left the New Jersey governor’s office with his popularity in tatters, but at least he didn’t break a leg. Christie is the first elected New Jersey governor in more than two decades not to suffer a broken leg ...
Published: 01/17/18
Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Desmond Meade says everywhere he goes in Florida, he hears the stories.From whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, blue collar laborers and white collar wage earners. People from all walks have walked up to him with a common request.They’re c...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Published: 01/16/18
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Published: 01/16/18
North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea’s official news agency responded Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s controversial "nuclear button tweet," describing it as the "the spasm of a lunatic," according to AP."The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental st...
Published: 01/16/18
‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

Sun Sentinel (TNS)PALM BEACH — About 500 Haitian-Americans and their supporters used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to protest derogatory comments President Donald Trump reportedly made about immigrants from majority-black countries."What do we w...
Published: 01/15/18