Editor’s Note: Richard Winger is a former mayor of the City of Vero Beach.
Regarding the issue of who you will be allowed to vote for in this year’s City Council election, I thought an update is urgently needed. There seems to be an effort to stymie your right to choose your City leaders.
As you may know, two candidates (Hillman and Heady) were duly qualified, advised all their forms were accepted and then sworn in.
Then the day after closing, they were informed, after an unsupervised inspection of their files by either a Council or Commission member, they were no longer candidates because of a missing signature. Before the oath-taking, the City Clerk is responsible to see nothing is amiss. What happened? Who knows,
except something went wrong at the City?
This resulted in Hillman taking legal action, using a leading Tallahassee election council. The Canvassing Board then met this last Thursday. The Canvassing Board reinstated the two candidates, and they were allowed to resume their campaigns.
However, the Canvassing Board decision was not given to the County Supervisor of Elections by the City Council, or the Canvassing Board. So, as of today, Hillman and Heady may campaign, but you may not vote for them unless the Supervisor is advised to issue a new ballot with them on it.
This is because the last notification to the County Supervisor of Elections received was they were off the ballot. The City has not posted its latest decision righting the wrong and putting them back on the ballot. Why we don’t know; unintentional, intentional?
We are now told Council will not take up the issue until October 2nd, which delay means it will be harder to change the ballot. As it stands, 60 Countywide absentee overseas ballots have gone out. That is not too bad. But by delaying the decision, until Oct 2nd, absentee ballots will be out too, making the fix harder and messier.
Will there be ballots with just four names? Will we told this vote does not count? Will we be told that a new later election will be called? Will we be told “tough,” Council chooses to disregard its own Canvassing Board and the two names be eliminated? If Council sets a new election date in December, will additional Candidates be allowed to qualify?
You need to be present at City Council 6:00 PM a week from Tuesday, October 2nd to protect your vote!
We now are at a new low for City Politics, I call it Verogate!