From a campaign finance perspective, an interesting Division of Election Opinion (08-07) was issued last month pertaining the use of PayPal. While the Division is not a believer in third-party websites accepting campaign contributions without registering as a political committee (08-03), it does not see a problem with candidates using PayPal from links on their own website. As to the date the contribution should be listed on disclosure reports, the Division likens PayPal to the Postal Service and states that payment should be dated on the date PayPal transfers the money into the campaign account. In reading the opinion and having used PayPal, my only question would be is that the date the money is in the PayPal account or the date the money is transferred from the PayPal account to the designated campaign bank account? Chapter 106, Florida Statutes would appear to focus on possession of the funds, not which account, but the opinion is not precise on that issue.
4 Weeks until Primary Early Voting
Yes, believe it or not, the Florida Primary (the primary for Congress, State and Local races, not the Presidency) will arrive soon, courtesy of early voting beginning on August 11, 2008. This article reminded me that this will be the first large scale early voting in the larger Florida counties using paper ballots and optical scan equipment. The most populous Florida counties had been using touchscreen voting machines since the 2002 election cycle; having left the punch card behind after that technology was decertified after the 2000 election. How will voters react? Will voters be surprised that the technology offered has changed for the 2nd time this decade? Will the addition of optical scan equipment to early voting sites cause delays?
The last day to register to vote in the Florida Primary is July 28th, 2008.
Florida re-do of primary dead for now.
The NY Times and other sources are reporting the Florida Democratic Party has given up on the idea of a new primary before the party’s summer convention. Since the idea is still alive in Michigan, I’d be surprised if more discussion doesn’t happen, at least while the Florida Legislature is still in session. The reasons given in Florida appear to be costs, ongoing change of voting technology, and the need to preclear changes under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that one of the political parties mailed stamps to voters and told them to use the stamps to return their absentee ballot for the Florida House District 32 contest. The question is whether that crosses the line and constitutes a bribe under Fla. Stat. 104.061 or is of such nominal value that it does not cause a problem.
Proposed bills for Election law changes
The Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections held a workshop on Wednesday to review several proposed election law changes. As covered in the Sun Sentinel, notable among these is a proposal to bar local governments from spending public money to run advertisements concerning an upcoming referendum. The bill is online at the Senate site and the workshop agenda packet is also available.
Crawford v. Marion County Election Board
This is the State of
Oyez.com provides a link to the online docket at the Supreme Court and usually has the Court’s argument audio file upon release.