The vote is for everyone, not just some people | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
An election worker holds "I Voted" stickers as people drop off vote-by-mail ballots for the Nov. 3 general election at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Oct. 14, 2020, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
An election worker holds "I Voted" stickers as people drop off vote-by-mail ballots for the Nov. 3 general election at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Oct. 14, 2020, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) [ LYNNE SLADKY | AP ]
Published Oct. 27, 2020

Texas governor challenged on limited drop stations | Oct. 3

Everyone should vote

Why is this a novel? Encourage as many Americans as possible to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Actively promote registration of all voters. Support polling places so in-person voters don’t have to wait hours in line. Don’t label mail-in voting as fraudulent. Draw districts that fairly represent the distribution of voters therein.

When parties and candidates offer truth and clarity on issues, the country is made stronger, and voters respond in kind. In this scenario, people in power wouldn’t have to play games with the process for fear of losing control. And Americans aren’t left questioning the election process or those supervising it.

But if we can’t take all of the positive steps, then at least stop overtly suppressing the voting process like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott by limiting one ballot collection point per county. Don’t mess with the U.S. States Postal Service operation right before a record mail-in vote is expected. Don’t under-resource minority polling locations in Georgia so voters must endure 4-8 hour waits. And yes, why ignore the will of the people and effectively void the amendment allowing felons who have served their sentences to vote in Florida?

Walter Olander, Indian Shores

Biden blew it on the court-packing question | Column, Oct. 15

Court packing? Come on

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s answer to the question of whether he would pack the Supreme Court should go something like this: Why am I being asked this question? The Republicans are in the process of doing just that right now!

Ann Jamieson, St. Petersburg

No membership, no invitation to the party | Letters, Oct. 14

What your political party means

You don’t have to join a political party to vote in primaries. You don’t have to donate money or time to campaigns to vote in primaries. A party’s primary is not for the members of the party, it is for the voters registered in that party. (I have never considered myself a member of any political party. I vote in every primary.) You can choose not to participate in the party system and still vote in party primaries. Everyone has the right to be apolitical and still be able to influence the candidate choice of a party they choose not to join.

There is no magic word or secret handshake required to vote in a party primary. All you have to do is register to vote in that party. You can only vote in one party’s primary, but you can vote in any party’s primary without being required to join the party, donate to the party or volunteer for the party. Just check the box on the voter registration form. Not satisfied with that party’s primary candidates this year? No problem, register with another party. Not happy with that party’s candidates? No problem, you can change back or to yet another party.

The party primary in which you vote is an indication of which box you checked on your registration form. Nothing more.

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William Carroll, St. Petersburg

Lawsuit seeks to remove Amendment 3 from the ballot | Oct. 14

Why bother removing it?

Why is the Florida Legislature trying to remove Amendment 3? As with every amendment that the Republican-controlled Legislature and executive branch does not like, it will never come to fruition. They will change the interpretation of the amendment, tie it up in court and do everything else that they can, to be sure that no amendment that might limit their control of the state is ever used.

David Lovejoy, Tarpon Springs

May their memories be a blessing | Oct. 14

Every life is precious

Much appreciation and thanks to the Times staff writers who wrote and compiled the obituaries of those who have succumbed to COVID-19. Each life was precious in its own way.

Tara Sheldon, Clearwater


Don’t sleep on microplastics

There is an unseen enemy creeping into our waterways, an invasive species that was made with our own hands and threatens our bay, our gulf and our rivers, all that we in the Tampa Bay area hold dear. That enemy is microplastics, descended from the tons of plastic debris that end up in our oceans each and every year.

Every problem has a solution and I propose one simple one — ban the creation of single-use plastic. If it’s not recyclable, don’t make it. That solution will jumpstart further research and innovation in the manufacturing of all plastic products. The enemy we can see is the plastic bottles and containers clogging our waterways and floating like a water landfill out on our seas. The one we can’t see is the invisible plastic that’s been identified in everything from tap water to beer and has been found as far away as the Arctic.

Inaction will only worsen this situation. We can begin as close to home as possible. Only the recyclable makes it into your cart. Our prized beaches need more litter and recycling bins. It all begins at home.

Ian Fox, Bradenton