NADER OFF BALLOT AGAIN-Andrew Stelzer

09/15/04

For the second time in the past week, Ralph Nader is again off Florida's presidential ballot. This afternoon, Circuit Judge P. Kevin Davey ordered that Nader's name be removed from the November ballot. Davey had made the same ruling last week, based on the statements that the Reform Party isn't a legitimate party under state law, even though the reform party had no lawyers in the courtroom, so no evidence was able to be presented to the judge. Davey's initial ruling was accepted last week, but then this week was appealed by secretary of state Glenda Hood on Monday. This latest elections confusion has county elections supervisors unsure of what to do, including Leon county supervisor Ion Sancho.

ACT-ion “This year has been the worst I've seen in the last 16 as a supervisor of elections.�

State law say that al; county’s must mail out ballots to overseas voters 45 days before the election—which is this coming Saturday. Although the judge also ordered that four counties that have already mailed absentee ballots listing Nader send out amended ballots without his name, ion Sancho plans to mail out ballots with nadirs name on them.

ACT-ion ‘I think that this issue will probably be resolve in about a week—5 days longer than we need to have to go on.

The resolution may come as early as Friday, when the state supreme court hears an appeal by secretary of state Glenda hood. In the meantime, Hillsborough county elections supervisor buddy Johnson has other plans.

ACT ‘We had to print two ballots, one with the Nader name, one without the name

ACT-buddy ‘On Saturday we will mail the ballot that is current and official at that time.�

No matter what the Supreme Court rules on Saturday, Secretary of state Glenda hood is drawing criticism for acting in a partisan matter. Many democrats are accusing Secretary of state Glenda hood of trying to get Nader put back on the ballot because Nader will take votes away from john Kerry and help president bush. The lawyer representing Naders reform party in court was a lawyer for bush in the 2000 recount, he was also nominated for a judgeship by Bush, and rejected by democrats. The Republican Party has also been supportive of Nader's efforts to get on the ballot all over the country. The politics of the situation does include both major parties; The democratic party filed the suit to have Nader removed from the ballot in the first place—they have been working in all 50 states to keep Nader off the ballot. Sancho says the politics of the situation have taken over.

ACT-Sancho ‘This is an example of how this is part of how elections have become partisan wars..this election from the beginning has been an indescribably..the state division of elections seems to be caught up in partisan war, and its

Last week, Secretary of state Glenda Hood, who is appointed by governor Bush, the presidents brother, said Ralph Nader should not be on the ballot because his party was not legitimate, but now this week she changed her mind.

ACT-Ion ‘If an appeal had taken place on Friday instead of this week, we wouldn’t have to have 2 ballots, so sec of state has to answer why the about face or flip flop?�

ACT-ion ‘The division of election run by an individual who is an appointee of the governor who talks with the governor, that’s not appropriate

Walter Dartland is on the board of common cause, a citizens advocacy group. Dartland say it’s the voters who are truly suffering.

ACT-Dartland ‘Unless you have a process that a party can be assured in advance that a party can be recognized, you shouldn’t allow them to field a candidate and then have it be challenged at the last minute by a major party..its not fair to the independent voter, greed, etc.�

Dartland say third parties are being harassed by the democrat and republican parties.

ACT-Dartland “Playing Russian roulette with elections is not the way for democracy to run..it doesn’t allow for other voices to be heard.�

ACT-Dartland “Nader had a certain number of votes last time he ran..it’s a unfair process for minority parties to not know they are going to qualify..it puts the burden on the minority party to prove themselves to get on the ballot.�

Leon county supervisor of election says our democracy is in danger of failing if the citizens of Florida don’t take control.

ACT-ion ‘Its clear that we have the appearance of impropriety, whether or not its real, we dealt with this in 2001, and the legislature ignored the governors task forces recommendations.�

ACT-ion ‘It is a ridiculous situation—eve got to look at this in a larger context, how do e fix the elections system in a non-partisan matter..�

The state supreme court’s decision on Friday should likely be final—state law prevents Glenda Hood will be prevented from appealing the decision.

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