Editor, The Beacon:
For the past few weeks, I’ve been laughing at Tanner Andrews’ self-righteous and significantly misinformed rants concerning Florida’s new “Jim Crow” voting law.
I am sure Mr. Andrews and I agree that all men and women are created equal, that voting is a fundamental right of citizens, that our elections must be free and fair, and that our elections must be secure from fraud or the appearance of fraud.
Where do we disagree? I believe the measures in the Florida Election Integrity and Transparency law will improve elections integrity, transparency and public confidence without an onerous or undue burden on the voters. This law is not race-based nor a return to Jim Crow.
If he’d read the bill and considered recent states’ elections controversy, he’d understand our governor has taken steps to ensure reasonable and prudent measures to prevent those controversies from happening here in the future.
While Mr. Andrews’ rants certainly aid The Beacon’s paper sales, they are also inflammatory and misinform its readers.
The truth is that none of the law’s measures prevents, restricts, burdens or discourages anyone of any race from voting. These measures ensure voting in Florida remains race-neutral, that every true vote counts, that the process is secure and transparent, and that the elections process maintains public confidence in the integrity of Florida’s voting system.
Given his rants, I wonder if Mr. Andrews even read the bill?
Here are some of the law’s measures:
• Remove unqualified voters from the voting rolls;
• Ensure ballot drop boxes are available and monitored during voting hours (early voting still begins 10 days before an election);
• Prohibit political campaigning and solicitation within 150 feet of a polling place;
• Prohibit the mass mailing of ballots;
• Prohibit ballot harvesting;
• Prohibit election supervisors from receiving private money to administer elections;
• Require every voter to identify himself or herself before voting.
These do not seem unreasonable or a burden on anyone.
However, they do appear reasonable and necessary to protect the sanctity of “one person, one vote.”
Oh wait! I see now! Mr. Andrews is right! Jim Crow and the nightriders have returned!
What was he thinking?!