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Patricia Brigham Shares Election Reform Ideas, Tampa Bay Times

Published on 3/3/2019

Tampa Bay Times

Patricia Brigham: Some easy, necessary steps to fix Florida’s elections problems

Voters need to know that when they cast their ballots, their votes are going to count. State officials should be doing everything possible to make that happen.

Florida, we have a problem: our elections system. The 2018 elections debacle showed the world that when it comes to elections, Florida still can’t seem to get it right.

We saw confirmation of this when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a state law requiring signature matches between mail-in ballots and those on file with elections officials disenfranchised Florida’s voters. In the 2-1 opinion, Judge Robin Rosenbaum wrote, “Florida’s signature-match scheme subjects vote-by-mail and provisional electors to the risk of disenfranchisement.”

Judge Rosenbaum’s use of the word “scheme” is noteworthy in a state where, until recently, students wishing to vote early on their college and university campuses were unable to do so. When U.S. District Judge Mark Walker overturned that prohibition, he wrote that the ban revealed a “stark pattern of discrimination.’’

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