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The politics of voting rights unfolds untold political devilment

Derek Joy

The politics of voting rights unfolds untold political devilment

By Derek Joy

     The political devil is downright busy. Stays busy. That scoundrel stays busy.

    So let me tell you a story.

    There I stood. The line was relatively short when I arrived at the Miami Dade County Government Center. I got there 30 minutes early on the next to last day of early voting.

    It came back to me very vividly as I moved through the early voting process in 30 minutes. I’ve been doing this since before the voting age was lowered to 18. In fact, the first time out of the box was absentee ballot. That was in 1968 while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Minot, North Dakota.

    Never gave much thought to the political shenanigans currently bedeviling the absentee votes.

    Slam dunked City of Miami elections not very long ago. Blew up again this year in Miami Dade County elections. Lord knows this year in Hialeah was not the first time there, either.

    But you know what? Black American communities have a similar trend plaguing the sanctity of the sovereign right to vote. That does not mean selling your constitutional right to vote for 30 pieces of silver.

    Nor does it mean the honest among the citizenry should suffer that core of career crooks to hold the process hostage by surreptitious manipulation. Just can’t allow such scandalous blight on the law of the land.

    Think about it. Black Americans were enslaved. The slave master, by constitution, was awarded three votes for every slave he owned. Poll taxes and other political skullduggery had one simple purpose: Discourage, if not altogether deny, Black Americans one of those inalienable rights – the right to vote.

    Oh, that Jim Crow era was a monster.

   And now, we see the evolution of those trends. Smack dab in the middle of absentee ballots. That hit as I stood in line waiting to cast my ballot.

            Sure. By now, all is done but the shouting. Losers are licking their wounds. Winners are reveling in the moment, looking forward to really see if, “to the victor go the spoils”, all really holds true.

            Yeah. There are complaints against the validity of some absentee ballots. Seems that many unanswered questions still haunt the Florida State Senate District 32 Campaign of Rep. Dwight Bullard.

            You know the drill. Absentee ballots, the unchecked contributions in time, money and other resources from the United Teachers of Dade.

    That isn’t all.

            For the second consecutive election, Florida State Rep. Barbara Watson, Dem., District 107, has won a lost election by a scant few absentee votes.

            In her first run for that District in 2010, Watson edged her former Miami Gardens City Council colleague, Sharon Pritchard. Watson won the absentee ballot count by 18 votes.

            This time around, Watson nudged Haitian American Rep. John Paul Julien by only 13 absentee votes.

            That’s a real Houdini done it. Something surely worth more than a fleeting interest in what is wrong with selling votes for 30 pieces of silver.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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