Trumped in Tally | Nov. 7
Making sense of election losses
As I struggle to make sense of what the election means for the country and, especially, for Florida, I am left with several thoughts and feelings. Those of us who fought to bring about a blue wave fought hard and long but were unable to prevail against some very entrenched groups — this time. We did manage to get Amendment 4 passed and that will permanently change the face of Florida voters in a positive way.
There are several groups that I want to address here. First, for those who were elected, you won by some very close margins. You work for everyone in Florida and need to keep that in mind. We will continue working to make sure that everyone has access to health care and that our environment is protected for generations to come. Second, to the young people who voted for the first time: Do not give up. Those of us who are older have been through elections before where our candidate did not prevail even though we thought they would. As Andrew Gillum so eloquently said, we are not going away. And neither should you. Find ways to stay involved and active as we fix our sights on 2020. And finally, to the 1.4 million Floridians who have not had a voice because of mistakes that you have paid for in full — get ready to register to vote and together we can make Florida a place that works for everyone.
Jenni Casale, Palmetto
Amendment 4 is a triumph for fairness | Editorial, Nov. 7
Enact the new amendment
Now that Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution has been passed to restore the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences and all other requirements, I cannot wait to see games and delaying tactics the Legislature and government agencies in Tallahassee play to delay implementation. All one has to do is remember the foot-dragging when even the first medical marijuana oils were approved. The process to be selected as a grower, a prescriber or dispensary was a game of obstruction by the bureaucrats.
With the possibility that many whose rights are to be restored through the new amendment may lean Democratic and progressive, you can bet the farm the Legislature and bureaucrats will try to make restoration as difficult as possible. New forms, processes and registration steps to ensure these new voters will not be able to vote in the 2020 cycle will be their goal. Vigilance is needed to watch the games going on to continue the era of Jim Crow that still exists in the South. It might be that our country needs to adopt a system that requires all adults vote — or be fined if they do not — as is done in some other countries. It is way past time that a minority of the adult-age citizens who vote call the shots for all citizens — minority government is unacceptable when the wishes of a few are imposed on everyone.
Dale Gottschalk, Hudson
Florida turns red | Editorial, Nov. 8
Voting for and voting against
A question for the Tampa Bay Times editorial board: Is it possible that a majority of the votes for Republicans were not just party line votes, but also votes against the liberal Democrats? The Times would have you believe that President Donald Trump delivered the winning margin. Not so! There was a message from Floridians: We don’t support the liberal agenda. As a former Florida legislator (1970-74), I still take politics very seriously. It is a mess.
Donald Crane Jr., St. Petersburg