The Associated Press reports that dozens of sham candidates, some of them living hundreds of miles away from the legislative seats they are seeking, are using a Florida election law loophole to deny roughly 1.6 million voters a chance to participate in upcoming legislative elections.
The Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday that 35 candidates have filed as write-in candidates in state Senate and state House races across the state.
Voters in 1998 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that says primary elections are supposed to be open to all voters if there are only candidates from one party running for the seat. This year’s primary is Aug. 30.
But if someone files as a write-in candidate the primary is closed to both independents and those voters registered to another party. Campaigns sometime recruit someone to run as a write-in candidate for the November general election to close the primary. Even though write-in candidates have never won an election, state courts regard them as legitimate candidates.