The Sun-Sentinel buries a flag-raising paragraph at the bottom of a story today on voting in Florida:
In northern Coral Springs, near the Sawgrass Expressway and Coral Ridge Drive, David Nirenberg arrived to vote as an independent. Nevertheless, he said poll workers insisted he choose a party ballot.
“He said to me, ‘Are you Democrat or Republican?’ I said, ‘Neither, I am independent.’ He said, ‘Well, you have to pick one,”’ Nirenberg said.
In Florida, only those who declare a party are allowed to cast a vote in that party’s presidential primary.
Nirenberg said he tried to explain to the poll worker that he should not vote on a party ballot because of his “no party affiliation” status.
Nirenberg said a second poll worker was called over who agreed that independents should not use party ballots, but said they had received instructions to the contrary.
“He said, ‘Ya know, that is kind of funny, but it was what we were told.’ … I was shocked when they told me that.” Nirenberg said he went ahead and voted for John McCain.
What the law says:
Florida Statute 97.052 requires the designation of party affiliation or the designation of no party affiliation at the time of registration. Florida Statute 97.1031 stipulates a voter may change his party affiliation by providing written notification to the Supervisor of Elections. Florida Statute 97.055 provides a voter may change his political party at any time up until the registration books “close” which is 29 days prior to the election date. Further, no party changes can be processed between the first primary book closing date and the day after the runoff (2nd) primary election date. All party changes must be in writing under oath and signed by the elector.