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Action Taken to Improve Elections in Florida

July 15th 2005

Florida Elections Report

Elections Report

St Petersburg, FL--An unusual coalition founded by local Libertarian, Democratic and Green parties with a large coalition of community groups is making news working for election reform in Florida. Republicans declined to join, but many local Republican leaders support the coalition.

The Election Reform Coalition of Pinellas, a Florida county which includes retirement havens and beach destinations St Petersburg and Clearwater, held public forums, heard citizen complaints, and produced a report on 14 areas of long term joint action to "make every vote count."

FORUMS REVEALED KEY PROBLEMS

Areas include a citizen advisory board, handling computer glitches, and long term proposals to bring proportional representation and reduced ballot requirements to the county.  

The report foreshadowed software and other problems now getting wider attention--in part due to the influence of the report. The coalition documented reported instances of software failure that created reverse votes, for example.

 

HITTING A NERVE

But the real story may be their model for co-operation, attempting to set long term areas of action not in government halls but by developing a citizen consensus. Coalition member Julie Chorgo said the model focused on what they could agree on, and they soon found there were considerable areas of agreement. The coalition website and report is at http://www.ERCPinellas.org

To judge by public and media response, the group is hitting a nerve. Their fact-finding forums were standing room only. The report is downloaded several rimes a day. Coalition leaders such as M. Gilson-De Lemos of the Libertarians, who emphasize voluntary solutions instead of government programs, and Democratic Vice Chair Arlin Briley, and representatives of the Greens and the other community groups have been busy in joint media briefings, interviews, TV, and radio shows.


By Paul Molloy
Freelance writer and consultant

 

 

 

 

 


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM