The Political Path Forward in Florida

By | 2018-11-14T08:15:21+00:00 November 14th, 2018|
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The ongoing craziness of Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes and her Palm Beach County sidekick, Susan Bucher, require some explaining to people outside of Florida. As a native Floridian it is exceedingly frustrating to see my beloved state subject to national ridicule because of Democrats cynically exploiting our decentralized political structure, which makes their offices constitutionally independent of other elected officials.

In other words, in their Palm Beach and Broward counties, Democrats elected these people, likely in full anticipation of them doing exactly what they are doing to obstruct and tip the scales in favor of Democrats.

So, allow me quickly to explain what is likely to be the immediate and the long term political path forward in this important bellwether state.

As Governor Rick Scott argued in his lawsuit:

Despite the fact that all unofficial returns shall be submitted to the Department of State as required by [statute] by a certain deadline (i.e., noon today), Defendants proceeded to count additional ballots after the noon deadline (hereinafter referred to as the “Illegal Ballots”) and after submitting their unofficial return to the Department of State (the “Unofficial Return”).

That’s right. Illegal ballots.

Obviously, there’s a reason Democrats have been pimping the “count every vote” mantra. It conveniently glosses over the illegality at play here.

Americans will recognize this tactic from the Democrats preferred narrative shaping with respect to the issue of illegal immigration. They never seem to miss an opportunity to conflate legal immigration with illegal immigration, the rule of law be damned. So it is with voting. Legal votes, illegal votes? What’s the difference?

Unfortunately for the political party of the Left but fortunately for the nation, Florida’s perhaps frustrating decentralized structure has a reassuring “buck stops here” entity.

The Elections Canvassing Commission canvasses the returns of primary and general elections for all state offices, presidential elections and U.S. congressional elections. The commission also determines and declares who is elected and makes and signs certificates of election for state and national offices, per section 102.111, Florida Statutes.

Who constitutes the Elections Canvassing Commission?

Why, the governor and two members of the cabinet selected by the governor! Other than our Republican Governor, who sits on the Florida cabinet? There’s our Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Republican; Attorney General Pam Bondi, Republican; and our Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Republican.

So, no, ladies and gentlemen. The Democrats will not be able to get away with stealing this election. Not this time.

I expect the commission, perhaps with the governor recused, will disallow the illegal ballots. A possible lawsuit will follow. There are three outgoing Florida Supreme Court justices, more liberal than you might expect given their appointment by Republican governors, who will be hard-pressed to disagree with the disallowal. Moreover,  should they be tempted to go that route they are likely to be thwarted by the United States Supreme Court, given the involvement of a federal position—United States Senator—and the demand for equal protection under the laws of the United States Constitution by way of the 14th Amendment.

Assuming the Democrats will pursue every judicial avenue available, upon the eventual resolution of the matter with Rick Scott taking his seat in the United States Senate, I then expect Governor Ron DeSantis to push for new legislation further constraining Florida Supervisors of Election. Included in that effort should be legislation that prescribes concurrent state oversight during all state elections by the Division of Elections personnel on behalf of the Elections Canvassing Commission.

I further expect serious criminal penalties to be passed by the Legislature should a future Supervisor of Elections again engage in the kind of outrageous conduct exhibited this election cycle, and also alleged in previous  years, with respect to Brenda Snipes.

Although illegal immigration was a huge issue catapulting Donald Trump into the presidency, so was a return to the rule of law. Many Americans have lamented a creeping lack of respect for the law, especially among the elite and illegal immigrants and, of course, the question of illegal immigration is inextricably tied to the question of the integrity of our elections.

For many, one significant factor in a return to the rule of law has been protecting the integrity of our voting process. The President made it a huge issue and empaneled an advisory commission to help him sort out his path forward.

Although the effort has suffered from resistance, there are two important factors to consider. First, as indicated by Kris Kobach, former head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, in shutting down that commission the President did not shut down the voter fraud investigation or suggest that voter fraud is a non-issue. He merely turned it over to the Department of Homeland Security.

In fact, Kobach said, “DHS knows the identity of everyone who has green cards” and temporary visas, and that to compare those names to state voter rolls would be ‘immensely valuable.’” So this was an intensifying of the effort, not a scaling back.

Secondly, DHS already has access to the state voter data the commission requested from the states. This raises a question whether the ultimate purpose of the advisory commission was to assess from where they were likely to get the greatest blowback or resistance to an examination of the voter data. Whatever the case may be, the important thing to watch is the ongoing investigation and its likely use of modern tools to look for signs of outright fraud. As advances in data mining have clearly shown, discovering patterns in large data sets, and easily generated statistics derived from database systems is infinitely easier now than just a few years ago.

I suspect the data mining on voters in Election 2018, green card holders, and those with temporary visas will soon generate tremendous fruit for the Trump Administration. Fruit the Democrats will find tremendously embarrassing.

Photo Credit: Christian Colon/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

About the Author:

J.B. White
J.B. White is a semi-retired resident of Tallahassee, Florida, and currently serves on the board of CREOLE, Inc., a nonprofit corporation engaged in an agri-business development strategy in northern Haiti. A native Floridian from Jacksonville and U.S. Army veteran, he holds degrees from the University of Florida (Political Science) and Florida State (Juris Doctor). @RattlerGator is his online presence on Twitter.