Last week, Gov. Rick Scott dropped the news that all-new totally unnecessary restrictions on how and where voters can return absentee ballots would be underway soon, further moving his voter suppression crusade along.
Aside from messing with a process that didn't need messing with, Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner both failed to actually consult any of the state's election officials and supervisors, creating an even more unnecessary rift between the Gov and these officials.
But now, one official -- Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark -- is fighting back by simply ignoring Scott's directive.
Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark ain't care.
With a special election set to kick off to replace the recently deceased Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Pinellas County, Clark is fighting The Man by going along with her usual plan of using remote drop-off sites so that voters in her county can keep voting by absentee ballots without hassle.
Last Monday, Detzner issued an order to all 67 state elections supervisors that imposes new restrictions on how and where voters can return their completed absentee ballots.
Basically meaning that anyone who wants to vote by mail will need to return ballots to elections offices only, as opposed to dropping them off at prearranged places that were more convenient for them.
In a statement to Detzner and Scott, Clark mentioned the popularity of the remote drop-off areas in her county, and how these places have saved taxpayers money -- which is something you would think Scott would be totally about.
Clark broke down the streamlined way things operate in her county, and how the drop-off boxes are taken directly to her office when things are done.
"I am confident that the drop-off locations maintained throughout Pinellas County are secure," Clark said in the statement.
Clark also said that her system is "in full compliance with the law," adding, "I plan to continue using them, including in the impending special primary election."
Neither Detzner nor Scott have commented on Clark's statement, but the state could file a lawsuit against Clark to try to force her to follow their orders.
Of course, if Scott and Detzner do nothing, this will then empower the other election supervisors to also ignore the directive.
This could be one of the most interesting and wholly unnecessary games of chicken we've seen in some time in Florida.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.