Sept. 30, 2011 – By now many Floridians know within the Florida voting act signed into law by GOP Gov. Rick Scott is a provision that decreases the early voting days from 14 to 8 days before election. There is also a provision that requires voters to cast provisional votes if they have changed addresses from one county to another since they last voted. Provisional votes are less likely to be counted in many instances and may affect the impact of low-income or minority voters. But, strategically placed in the voting law is the provision for a nine member panel to choose a date for Florida’s presidential primary preference.
The selection of members for the panel or commission is complete and is scheduled to set a primary date by Oct. 1, 2011. Members are;
- (former) GOP Gov. Bob Martinez
- Jenn Ungru, Gov. Rick Scott’s deputy chief of staff overseeing the Department of State
- Senator John Thrashers, R-St. Augustine
- Renee Garcia, R-Hialeah
- Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami
- Seth Mckeel, R-Lakeland
- (former) Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee
- Cynthia Stafford, D-Miami
- Gary Siplin, D-Orlando
Even if faced by sanctions from the Republican National Committee that forbids early primary dates before March 6 in all but four of the early states; Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, along with others, wants Florida to schedule an early primary. In an article by George Bennett, staff of Palm Beach Post, member selection and the commission’s first meeting was scheduled Sept. 23 and a second, if necessary Sept.30, 2011.
And that is the purpose of creating the committee and initiating it in a law that utilizes money from tax payers.
In Florida, Congressional district lines have been redrawn and approved earlier this year. All these planned and tactical maneuvers were necessary for a battle to defeat President Obama which is one of the primary organizational objectives of the Tea Party movement.