Democrats are not happy that the State Department recently sent an email advisory via US embassies to US citizens living abroad that a vote in Florida’s 16th Congressional district for Mark Foley is not actually a vote for Foley, but the guy the GOP has named to replace him: Joe Negron. Via the Miami Herald:
Just in case any American on Earth [what’s with the snarky bit about ‘any American on Earth’? –ST] hasn’t heard about the Mark Foley sex scandal, the State Department sent an e-mail advisory Tuesday to U.S. citizens in Iraq alerting them of the congressman’s resignation.
The message went out to all citizens registered at the U.S. Consul in Baghdad — and possibly in other countries — reminding them that, if they are Florida voters who live in the 16th Congressional District, a vote for Foley is actually a vote for his Republican replacement, state Rep. Joe Negron.
”Foley’s name will remain on the ballot for both absentee and regular ballots,” the e-mail reads. “Any votes cast for Foley will count toward the total of the substitute candidate.”
Officials from the campaign for Negron’s Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney, are livid over the correspondence, saying it is a Republican ploy to maintain the GOP stronghold in Congress.
”Here they go again — Karl Rove and his crowd are interfering with another Florida election,” said Charles Halloran, a spokesman for the Mahoney campaign.
But Negron scoffs at those accusations, saying it is only fair that absentee voters overseas be informed of the unusual twist in the election to fill the district seat.
”It’s important that people — all over — know how their vote is going to be counted,” he said. “Their votes are just as important as our votes.”
A legal battle is under way over election procedures. Today, the Florida Democratic Party is scheduled to be in court in Tallahassee to try to stop elections officials from posting signs in polling places alerting voters that a vote for Foley means a vote for Negron. Under state law, Foley’s name will stay on the ballot.
Because of the confusion, the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program, which educates American voters worldwide of their right to vote, issued a news release Monday explaining Foley’s resignation.
It’s understandable why the Dems would be upset. I mean, what better way to snag some votes than to keep voters in their district uninformed?