Our enemies tacked a horrible anti-petition provision onto the paper trail bill and the Florida Legislature swallowed the bait and voted to approve
“5/4/07: HB537 and SB900 - PAPER TRAIL LEGISLATION AND ANTI CITIZEN INITIATIVE BILLS MERGED AS TWO BILLS PASS THE LEGISLATURE, SENT TO GOVERNOR.”
. What does this mean for FHD and all other current and future citizen initiatives to amend the Florida Constitution?
1. As of August 1st, we will have only 30 days from the moment a petition is signed to submit the petition to the Supervisor of Elections for validation. We had been operating in a “pay as you go” mode -holding our petitions until we received contributions to pay for the validation fees.
2. Our opponents will then have 120 days from the date a petition is verified by the SOE to hunt down and contact voters who signed a petition and try to convince them to sign a document rescinding his or her petition! No word yet on how the Supervisors of Election are going to handle the holding/timing issue, as they are obliged to certify to the State Division of Elections the number of valid signatures they receive.
SB900 could well be found to be un-constitutional, as the state constitution fully addresses the petitioning process, and we can only hope there will be organizations out there who will band together to challenge its legality.
You have to wonder about the enemies of democracy out there…busy every day dreaming up new ways to throw up roadblocks to petitioning, every year eroding the people’s constitutional right to petition. The 30 day submission will be a housekeeping nightmare…the rescinding provision gives our opponents the right to harrass voters who signed the petition to get them to rescind. Believe me, our opponents will say and do anything to destroy Florida Hometown Democracy.
Will Charlie Crist veto this bill? We just don’t know. Everybody wants the paper trail to ensure accountability and fairness in elections! Contact Charlie, who purports to be “the people’s governor” and tell him how unhappy you are about this poison pill. There are approximately 3000 of you FHD’ers out there on our email lists….if you will contact him 3 times: 1 -send an email, 2-mail a brief note, and 3-fax him a copy of the note, ...and then ask everyone you know to do the same, our mighty voice will be heard!
Office of the Governor
PL-05 The Capitol
Tallahassee , FL 32399-0001
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