Frank Reddick Makes Federal Complaint about Last week’s election by Mitch E. Perry

03/13/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday

 

 

Tampa City Councilman Frank Reddick today sent a complaint about last week’s Tampa City Elections to the U.S. Justice Department.

 

The interim Councilman finished 2nd to former Hillsborough County Commissioner Thomas Scott in the race for Tampa’s District 5 City Council Seat, but he was only 37 votes shy of forcing Scott into a run-off.

 

In his letter, Reddick  alleges that the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office violated the law when they failed to give proper notice about a polling place being changed  (roll tape#1 o.q.”denied the opportunity to vote”)

 

The polling place in question was at the Tampa Korean United Methodist Church on North Boulevard. 

 

Hillsborough County is one of many jurisdictions that must receive clearance from the Justice Department for any type of voting change.  That’s part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires some counties and states , many in the South, that must go thru the Government because of past discriminatory practices.

 

The law dictates that  the changes must be submitted at least 60 days before an election. 

But the County did not find a new polling place – the Symrna Baptist Church, until

February 8th.  They then sent their letter to Justice on February 12th.

 

Again, Frank Reddick (roll tape#2 o.q.”in that particular precinct”)

 

IN last week’s election, Thomas Scott received 51 percent of the vote, Frank Reddick 36% and Tracy Judge came in 3rd with 13 percent of the vote.  It is Reddick’s contention that he would have received at least 37 more votes, and thus be eligible to go one on one against Thomas Scott in a run-off election, if the communications from the Supervisors office regarding the changed polling station had been clearer .

 

County officials say they printed the change in the voting address  in the Tampa Tribune, but acknowledged that it was too late to mail such information to voters.

 

Mike Forestor is with the Supervisor of Elections Office (roll tape#2b” everything possible”)

 

But Forestor admits there were probably some voters who did not vote because of the Polling change (roll tape#2C “4 10th  of a mile away”)

 But that does not provide solace for Frank Reddick(roll tape#3 o.q.”about my complaint”)  The run off election takes place in 2 weeks between Joe Redner and Gwen Miller in the Citywide District 1 race, and Frank Margarella and Joseph Catano in District 7 North Tampa race.

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