Five states are voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana this November and 4 states are voting on the legalization of medical marijuana. Florida is one of these states. Voters in the sunshine state will have the chance to legalize medical marijuana this November on the condition, of course, that ballots are printed correctly and the question actually appears on the ballot. This may not seem like a lot to ask but the Broward County office seems to have made an unfortunately enormous error on the early vote ballots that were sent out by mail. Amendment 2, the question regarding the legalization of medical marijuana was omitted from a number of the ballots that were sent out. It appears as if there were multiple versions of the ballot created in the county and no one is sure exactly how many had the critical marijuana vote taken out.
Missing Marijuana Vote Question Grounds for a Lawsuit
Anne Sallee, who lives in the Oakland Park district and used to be the Oakland Park commissioner, reported that the Amendment 2 marijuana vote was excluded from her ballot as well as the ballots of her husband and multiple neighbors. Sallee physically delivered her ballot to election officials on Thursday to formally report the problem. The Florida division of NORML, a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, received numerous phone calls regarding the missing ballot question. Upon discovery of the error, the organization has filed a lawsuit against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda Snipes.
“Catastrophic and Cataclysmic”
The lawsuit states that “the end result of this error is catastrophic and cataclysmic as it applies to this ballot item, effectively disenfranchising voters and eliminating the right to vote on certain matters which have been lawfully placed on the ballot.” The lawsuit is requesting that all voters who have received a vote by mail ballot be sent a new ballot explaining that the Amendment 2 question was not on the previous ballots that were sent out. It is not a lot to ask, given the magnitude of the error, and would effectively remedy the mistake. The Amendment needs a 60 percent approval in order to pass, which makes every single vote extremely important.
Prior Broward County Voting Offenses
This is not the first time a ballot issue has come from this county under the supervision of Snipes. Approximately 1,800 people received botched voter ID cards in Davie, leading up to the August 30th primary. Snipes chalked this up to a printing error. In the early voting ballots for that same election, a judicial candidate’s name was spelled wrong. For this November election, another mistake has appeared on the ballots. On the question regarding the county’s transportation sales surtax question, the word “no” has been placed in the “yes” line. With so many critical mistakes under her belt, it is unclear how Snipes herself has managed to retain her job without coming under serious investigation. Perhaps the lawsuit against her will shine light on her work process and serve to make sure her office stops making so many unlawful errors.
For now, if all goes well with the lawsuit, all Florida voters will have the right to have their say on the marijuana vote that may potentially legalize medical marijuana this November.