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Latest Election-Law Challenge Has the Democrats at War over the Very Legislation They Created

July 16, 2019 - 9:00am
Will they vote for the first name they see?
Will they vote for the first name they see?

Problems in casting votes for candidates is as much a part of the Florida landscape as palm trees. Voting issues, ballot complaints, and electoral lawsuits are so much the norm that when an election actually goes off without a hitch, it gets a banner headline. In keeping with that tradition, the Democratic Party has just begun a new lawsuit to seek a change in the voting process.

At issue for the Dems is a desire to change the existing law in the state that dictates the order of candidates on the ballot. As it stands the statute is that the party of the governor is the determining factor as to which party candidate is listed in the top position among the choices for an office. This is entirely done with an eye on the 2020 election, indicating that this suit is being spearheaded by the Democratic National Committee. 

The reason for this challenge is what is sometimes thought of as a positional advantage -- that being whoever is the top-listed candidate enjoys a level of benefit in the numbers. The DNC is applying the "bail-bondsman principle." That principle explains why virtually every city in America has a bail-bond company named AA Bail Bonds. The first listing in the alphabetized directory gets the most business. 

If this latest Democratic stunt strikes you as a petty grievance, it only shows the level of desperation being applied to the swing-state status of Florida, and the number of close elections in recent years. What justification there is to deny the incumbent president the top position, and why the law is wrong, is not readily provided. Turns out the Democrats simply don't trust it to work in their favor.

This has been another tradition in Florida for some time now -- a Democratic Party that calls for adherence to election laws in the media, while working in the courts to challenge and undermine those very same laws. Following the 2018 midterms, the close races for the Senate and governor’s seats saw the likes of Bill Nelson and Andrew Gillum making almost religious pronouncements that election laws had to be followed ardently. 

While they were issuing these hollow talking points, the Democratic Party had lawyers fanning out across the state to bring challenges to a number of laws, in a desperate bid to have judges make changes on the fly to glean extra votes. After these calls for strict adherence, everything from signature verifications to absentee ballot deadlines were argued to be suddenly bendy as a willow branch. Now the Democrats are striking a preemptive legal pose.

This particular suit is exposed in its desperation by the details. Quoted by Politico, state Sen. Gary Farmer tries to make the case for why this needs to change. “The unfortunate reality is that the party that is in control keeps passing laws that put more hurdles and makes it harder for people to vote.” Sounds like a valid reason, until you look at the reality. The law being challenged was not passed by the party in control. 

The statute the Dems want rescinded was established in 1951. To further make a mockery of the Democratic lawsuit, this law was passed by a Democrat-held Legislature, and signed by the Democratic governor. For 70 years this law hasn't once been an issue, but the spate of recent elections where the results did not go the Democrats' way means the law the Dems created is now a problem in need of a solution? Where's the sense?

The farce of all this is that while the party has managed to bring forward this suit, they have not answered that question, haven't provided the justification for it -- they haven't even been able to supply a proposed "solution" to what they deem a problem. Court documents state the Dems have not shown evidence this positional advantage has swayed any outcome, and cases have excused away any issue of this being a constitutional problem. 

Essentially, what we see being forwarded is the Democratic Party opposing a law they instituted generations ago. They are now calling it unfair, all the while struggling to show how, and what their idea of "fair" would entail, by way of a solution.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.


Awesome and exactly on point! Congratulations and thank you.

Democrats are such whiney diaper babies. But then again most losers in todays everybody gets a trophy society are whiney diaper babies. Losers.

This is the rule in many states. In New York, for example, NY Election Law 7-116(1): "In printing the names of candidates on the ballot, the candidate or candidates of the party which polled for its candidate for the office of governor at the last preceding election for such office the highest number of votes, shall be row or column A or one and the candidates of the other parties shall be placed on such ballot in descending order of such votes. " Don't see Dems challenging NY law.


Democrats (and the media) will not be happy until they foment full revolution; then they will 'rue that day' forever more...

The order of candidates should either alternate between GOPs and DEMs election-by-election - or they should simply use a coin flip to determine the order on the ballot. The way Republicans currently do it s**ks but, then again, a lot of the things they do s**k.

Apparently you didn't read the article. The way Democrats are doing it, not the Republicans. The Democrats gleefully made the law that we must now all follow. On the other hand, it sure is sweet when the Democrats get to have a taste of their own medicine.

A-a-and heerree's YOUR "Nike Swoosh" ! (just need a "poodle haircut" now)

Regardless of party, regardless of who passed it, positional advantage is a very real, proven concept, whether in voting or bail bonds as you brought up. If all parties were interested in fairness, they would just order the ballot alphabetically, or something random in nature. However, since we know that positional advantage is exactly that and the courts have ruled against gerrymandering, and once court structures have changed, against it., the concepts of cheating and trying to influence are very real. This president is the very epitome of that cheating. If everyone were interested in fairness (which we know full well they are not), they would agree on a system that completely eliminates even the hint of positional advantage and unethical conduct, but we know that neither side will admit to that, so it won't. We'll continue to see each side deny any advantage and blame the other, all in the interest at winning at any cost, and we as Americans will ultimately pay the price in the end. Such is the state of politics in this country and especially Floriduh...

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