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Topic: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)  (Read 572 times)

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Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« on: October 05, 2020, 08:52:59 PM »
Hello all!

I recently received my absentee ballot from Florida (Pasco County). I've been voting abroad since 2008, and haven't had any issues. However, this year the ballot only includes the Presidential race, and NOTHING else. I found this curious, and emailed the county to enquire about the validity of not including other races. This was the response I received:
     
     "Based on direction from the Florida Department of State, we were advised that for overseas United States citizens whom did not relay an intent to return
      to the United States, we were to issue a “Federal Only” Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballot.  Please advise us if you are intending to return to the United States,
      then we can re-issue you a regular VBM ballot style, which will include ALL contests entitled for that precinct."

Does anyone know about the legality of this? Could it be considered voter suppression? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2020, 08:19:34 AM »
That does sound a bit dodgy to me as well.  You could get more specialised advice by contacting Democrats Abroad. 


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2020, 11:27:21 AM »
That does sound a bit dodgy to me as well.  You could get more specialised advice by contacting Democrats Abroad.

Good idea.

I can see where at a state level they possibly can do this, but are there not other Federal positions up for reelection this year such as Senators and Congressmen? As a tax paying USC I would think you should have the right to vote for members of the Federal House and Senate since they set the levels of Federal taxation.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2020, 01:20:27 PM »
They are looking at whether you consider yourself a resident of Florida or not. If you are not a resident who is temporarily abroad, you really don't have a right to be voting to help decide local and state elections. US senators, etc., are representatives for a state sent to represent it at the federal level, so I would think you would have no logical right to be voting for them, either, as they do not represent you - unless you are temporarily absent from the state and intend to return.

You, as a USC, do have a right to vote in the federal elections for VP/P, of course. You  request your federal ballot from the last state in which you were a resident. Unless you are a USC who has never lived in the USA, when it gets complicated.  :)



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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2020, 01:28:22 PM »
They are looking at whether you consider yourself a resident of Florida or not. If you are not a resident who is temporarily abroad, you really don't have a right to be voting to help decide local and state elections. US senators, etc., are representatives for a state sent to represent it at the federal level, so I would think you would have no logical right to be voting for them, either, as they do not represent you - unless you are temporarily absent from the state and intend to return.

You, as a USC, do have a right to vote in the federal elections for VP/P, of course. You  request your federal ballot from the last state in which you were a resident. Unless you are a USC who has never lived in the USA, when it gets complicated.  :)

That is something else I didn't know.  The President does not set taxes, Congress does, so if you can't vote on the members of Congress then that is USCs with taxation but no representation. Puts us in a similar position to Washington DC who can vote for President but have no Senators or voting members of Congress. 

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2020, 05:24:42 PM »
This is interesting. I vote in Virginia and requested a Federal Only ballot. The ballot they sent me says “Federal Only” at the bottom of it and this was also set forth in the email (I got the ballot via email). However, in addition to Pres. and VP, the ballot also includes one US Senator and Congressman as well. There are no state people or issues.

I know VA isn’t Florida but it seems that Congressional elections would be federal vs. something like governor, which is clearly state. I’m confident my ballot is correct because dodgy VA requires you to disclose your or your spouse’s employer in your FPCA form. If you don’t disclose that, you can only vote federal. Fine by me as I’ve been trying to extricate myself from greedy VA since I got here!

I second the idea of contacting Dems abroad though.


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2020, 05:49:47 PM »
Hmmmmmm...  I’m Pinellas so literally next door.  I had a full ballot and I’m a declared overseas voter...  I agree with asking Democrats abroad.


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« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 02:39:33 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2020, 02:54:34 AM »
And, because I obsess about things like this, I did a bit more digging.  The candidates for US House of Rep for Pasco County are (unless I got the wrong district number):

District 12
General election candidates
    Gus M. Bilirakis  (Incumbent) (Republican Party)
    Kimberly Walker  (Democratic Party) Candidate Connection
Withdrew, disqualified, or did not make ballot:
    Michael Steven Knezevich



There does not appear to be a senate seat up for voting this year in Florida.


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2020, 08:28:08 AM »
Thanks for the follow-up Nan.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2020, 03:15:11 PM »
No probs. Just not sure of that House district number, though.


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2020, 12:58:26 PM »
Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the responses! I've been in contact with Democrats Abroad... There still seems to be a bit of confusion, but it sounds like the Congressional seat should be included on the ballot. Nan, you were correct; it's the 12th District. At this point, I'm just waiting to hear back from DA to see if there's anything I can do, as time is quickly running out to fill in and return the ballot.

Fingers crossed!


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2020, 01:16:46 PM »
It's expensive, but for overseas ballots you can use FedEx/DHL/UPS to return. If I had a job that is what I would be doing this year to be sure it arrived on time and counted! Thankfully every seat I can vote for in my state is safely Democrat so I'm not as worried if mine doesn't count.


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 04:26:47 PM »
Wow this is really suspect. Glad you’re looking into it!

I’ve just submitted my absentee ballot for Charleston County, SC and was shocked to find that I got to do it via online form that then generates a PDF ballot that gets submitted! I only requested my absentee ballot on Monday afternoon via email and my vote has already been submitted and counted!

Also, SC apparently still allows voting in all the state and local elections too.


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Re: Absentee Ballot in Florida (Pasco County)
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2020, 08:53:09 PM »
Hey all,

In case you've been following along, here's this evening's update:

I've been in contact with Democrats Abroad and after a bit of back-and-forth, was told to contact my election office regarding the Congressional seat. I've done so and this was the response (in full) that I received:

[Mr. Corley stated, “We are going to re-visit this issue with the Florida Department of State in early 2021 and should have updated information for you well in advance of the 2022 election cycle.”]

I've now emailed DA again to see if there's anything further to be done, but it doesn't look likely. The whole thing feels very suspect to me. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it will be solvable in this election cycle.

Any advice?


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