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Wed Jul 25, 2012, 04:37 PM

Lawsuit filed to challenge use of write-ins to close Florida primary elections [View all]

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE —

If the winner of a Democratic or Republican primary in Florida won’t face opposition in the general election, then that primary is open to all voters without regard to party registration under a state constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly in 1998.

The idea is that everyone should get a chance to vote for — or against — the eventual winner.

But politicians have been getting around the so-called universal primary requirement by finding someone — often a supporter, friend or relative — to run as a write-in candidate. Write-in candidates have closed what would have otherwise been five open primaries in Palm Beach and Martin counties this year — the Republican House District 82 and Democratic Senate District 27 and tax collector’s races in Palm Beach, and the Republican sheriff’s and county commission District 1 races in Martin.

That trick is now being challenged in court by critics who say that it effectively disenfranchises independents and members of other parties. They hope a judge will rule before the Aug. 14

More at: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/lawsuit-filed-to-challenge-use-of-write-ins-to-clo/nP32L/

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