Arthritis affects my signature. Does that mean I can’t vote in Florida? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
An election worker places a vote-by-mail ballot into an official ballot drop box outside of an early voting site in October.
An election worker places a vote-by-mail ballot into an official ballot drop box outside of an early voting site in October. [ LYNNE SLADKY | AP ]
Published Apr. 17
Updated Apr. 17

Florida’s signature madness

DeSantis wants voters’ signatures to match. Would his pass the test? | April 13

I defy any state legislator in Florida to tell me that their signature on a ballot last year is exactly like their signature two years prior, or four years or six. I have severe arthritis in my hands. My signature today may not come close to my signature from yesterday. Does that mean I can’t vote? Or will I be denied the vote after showing proper ID, on which I am quite certain the signature does not match the current one? This is a battle that Mother Nature is going to win. The law is not big enough to take her on.

I also defy anyone who has “signed” on an electronic pad to compare that signature to one on paper and declare them the same or even “close enough.” I have yet to have my electronic signature look like anything other than a snake coiled to strike.

Cathi Greene, Dunedin

No on carbon credits

How Florida ranchers can help fight climate change | Column, April 11

While we absolutely need to find ways to help support our farmers, the carbon commodity program envisioned by the Growing Climate Solutions Act is the wrong approach for promoting sustainable farming and protecting our climate. These offsets schemes are crafted by big agricultural and fossil fuel interests to bolster their bottom line while feigning concern for the climate crisis. Under these proposals, polluters can purchase “carbon credits” from farmers instead of reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions. But there is no real surefire way to measure the effectiveness of agricultural carbon sequestration; that means polluting industries will continue business as usual while claiming that farming practices cancel out their own activities.

These offsets are built to reward the biggest players — the larger your farm, the more offsets you can generate, which could encourage even more consolidation in the farm business. Rather than focusing on these do-nothing pollution trading schemes, Congress should increase funding for proven programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, while closing loopholes that enable factory farms to capture conservation dollars.

Brooke Errett, senior organizer, Food & Water Watch

‘Jesus wept’

Florida House passes bill banning transgender athletes from women’s sports | April 14

The Florida House just passed the most morally bereft, anti-LGBTQ legislation that specifically targets trans children who want to participate in athletics, without a peep in substantial debate from Republicans who simply waited in silence to cast their majority vote. The supporters of the bill could not provide evidence or use science for their claims, despite the impassioned speeches from Democrats, parents, youth, and other advocates. They just had the numbers to push it through, and the lack of a moral compass to consider the impact on children and families. Language in this monstrous bill stipulates invasive genital inspections as one of the remedies of kids whose gender is disputed. During a pandemic, this is the sad and cruel focus of the Legislature.

“Whatever you did for the least of these” has a secular meaning generally understood as a display of empathy, consideration, and care; the spiritual reference goes a bit deeper, but the point is the same: protect the vulnerable. Delighting in power and domination over children is not an example of a healthy society. For the Christians who think supporting this bill and harming these children is a sign of their faith, all I can say is “Jesus wept.”

Jan Dahm, Gulfport

COVID indifference

An upside down world | April 14

The letter writer has a valid point about too many Republican men refusing to get vaccinated. When I talk to my GOP friends about the severity of COVID-19 and that the death toll in this country has reached over a half million people, they explain that to them that many deaths are acceptable. All I can do is bite my tongue, smile turn around and walk away.

Walter Hanse, Largo

Where’s the backbone?

DeSantis is his own kind of Florida man | Column, April 14

Reading this tripe from columnist Jonah Goldberg makes me remember when the Tampa Bay Times had standards. The question is, does anyone working there recall those days? All you have are scared little mice afraid to criticize Republicans and who act like Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio stand for a single thing besides stealing money from hard-working people.

Michael Henry, Bradenton