Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Florida Voting Problem Strike Again, This Time Impeding Antigay Constitutional Amendment

Conservatives in Florida have been signing a petition to put a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot in November. Last month, conservative leaders announced they had gathered more than the required number of signatures. Now comes the revelation that Florida election errors have struck again, this time resulting in inflated numbers of signatures. This discovery means the conservatives do NOT have the signatures necessary to get the amendment on the November ballot. Right Wing Watch reports:
Last month, the Religious Right was boasting that it had gathered more than enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot—in contrast to 2006, when an anti-gay petition fell short. But the campaign, Florida4Marriage.org, was apparently using faulty numbers, as it turns out that machines in at least one county had submitted duplicate signature reports. Now the effort is at least 22,000 signatures short, with just two weeks to go.
Conservatives are frenetically mobilizing to find the remaining number of signatures they need.

“Right now we are called as men and women of faith are often called to first pray and depend on our faith and then to come together and absolutely take this emergency sitiuation seriously,” [Bill Bunkley of the Florida Baptist Convention] said. He suggested those who support the amendment spend the next 7-10 days armed with petitions and share them at church, at school and anywhere they travel in the state, asking two questions: “Are you a registered voter? and “Have you signed the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment?”

Bunkley predicts that within the next seven days “if the sanctity of marriage is truly a top priority for men and women of faith” this state-wide deficit should be able to be made up.

This will be an interesting story to follow. It doesn't seem to me that it would be all that hard to put together 22,000 conservative signatures in a state like Florida... but then I must remember that these are 22,000 additional signatures. Perhaps Florida voters who object strongly to gay marriage have already been counted.

I hope so.

hat tip: Right Wing Watch

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