The right to vote

Our precious right to vote is under attack by conservative forces across the nation and Florida is no exception.

Nearly two thirds of all Florida voters cast their ballot either by early voting or by mail, and both methods have been made more difficult in recent years.

One issue receiving particular attention this week is a lawsuit challenging the interpretation of state election laws by the current secretary of state, who is also the state’s chief elections official, to exclude campus buildings from early voting. Since those buildings can be used on Election Day, this is clearly an attempt to prevent young people from participating fully in our democratic process.

As a State Senator, I will support legislation to ensure that college students have full access to the polls, whether or not the lawsuit now in process succeeds. In addition, since the secretary of state is an appointee subject to confirmation by the Senate, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Florida’s next secretary of state is a true champion of our voting rights.

Another issue of current debate is the “write-in loophole,” which allows a person to close a primary that would otherwise be open to all voters by filing as a write-in candidate. This loophole was created by an opinion rendered 18 years ago by an unnamed administrator in the state elections office, and we have seen that odious maneuver executed by people from both parties throughout the state. A proposal to close the loophole was offered by one of Martin County’s own representatives on the Constitution Revision Commission, but it was defeated. Fortunately, a simple bill could accomplish the same thing.

As a State Senator, I will file that bill and work for its passage.

Maressa Levy