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Saturday, December 3, 2022
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All eyes on Florida

The events at Broward County in Florida is an election issue closer to home.

Each individual ballot is very important in a democratic election process and should be safeguarded lest anyone who tampers with it should be prosecuted for this crime.

This election issue has a name, Brenda Snipes. Snipes is the election supervisor for Broward County, Florida since 2003 and is a Democrat.

She is charged with violating Florida state law which requires election departments to release the total number of ballots counted after the polls closed.

Snipes is accused of not counting the votes accurately and allowing illegal immigrants to vote. Republican Ron Desantis ran against Democrat Andrew Gillme and was initially declared the winner while Florida Gov. Rick Scott also filed a complaint for election fraud.

Based on records, Snipes was linked to the loss of thousands of absentee ballots in Broward County in the 2004 elections. An investigation is ongoing and had been marred with partisan politics.

Since olden times elections serve as a defining moment in democracy. It is the only time when the governed chooses leaders that would govern them for a set number of years.

The vote is an instrument of political power possessed by the people. It should be protected by those tasked to ensure its sanctity and by the voters themselves. 

In the Philippines we've heard reports of vote buying, disenfranchisement of voters, the names of dead people being used to pad the votes of a favored candidate (dagdag bawas or translated as add and subtract) and just recently, the hacking of voters' names.

When I first heard about dirty election tactic of candidates using the names of dead people to pad their votes, I thought that it only happens in the Philippines, my country of birth.

Never did I realize that this dirty tactic will be mirrored in my adoptive country by election officials with partisan political affiliation who use illegal immigrants to pad the votes of their favored candidates.

There were times in the past that election supervisors were suspected to favor one political party or candidate. It is also expected that the rich and powerful politicians will exploit the flaws of the system to msnipulate election results.

We expect that in the Philippines but the US media attention in Florida, a key state in the US midterm elections, had shown that such dirty election tactics can also happen in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

All eyes are on that state since either a Republican or Democrat victory will be a crucial factor in the 2020 elections. That the Philippines will also hold its midterm elections next year should mirror the concern of both Filipinos living in the country and those outside of it. 

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