Florida Dems Panic as State Cancels Primary Election

(RightWing.org) – The Republican and Democratic Parties select their presidential nominees by meeting state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. Those statutes, known as ballot access laws, ultimately determine whether a presidential hopeful will appear on their respective party’s primary election ballot.

In Florida, this procedure is part of what state law calls the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) election. The process included only three steps.

  1. Each party must submit a list of candidates to the Florida Secretary of State’s Office by November 30.
  2. The Secretary of State must publish a list of presidential candidates no later than December 12.
  3. The Florida Department of State “immediately” notifies the candidates of their placement on the PPP ballot using registered mail.

Some Florida Democrats are panicking in the wake of news that the Secretary of State canceled the party’s March 19 PPP election. Here’s what happened.

State of Florida Cancels Democratic Presidential Primary Election

Three individuals launched long-shot campaigns to unseat President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee. They included Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), progressive political commentator Cenk Uygur, and author Marianne Williamson.

The Florida Democratic Party held its annual convention last October, in part to select its slate of presidential nominees. As it turned out, the party’s State Executive Committee only approved and submitted Biden’s name to the Secretary of State’s Office by the November 2023 deadline.

Under Florida’s ballot access law, a lone nominee becomes the default winner of the party’s PPP election. The Secretary of State must also cancel the election, presumably to save state resources.

Some Democrats have expressed outrage at the Florida Democratic Party for only submitting one name for placement on the PPP ballot. Likewise, they have spoken out against Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd.

Florida Lawyer Seeks Redress Through the Courts

Tampa-based attorney Michael Steinberg filed a civil complaint against Florida’s Democratic Party and Byrd in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on December 5.

The five-page document asks the court to enter a declaratory judgment against the defendants’ decision to leave Phillip’s name off the list of approved candidates for the March PPP election. Likewise, the pleading seeks an injunction to “remedy” the violation of Steinberg’s constitutional right to vote for the candidate of his choice.

However, it remains doubtful that Steinberg will succeed. All three of Biden’s challengers share most, if not all, of the blame for what happened. As POLITICO and other sites recently reported, officials with the Florida Democratic Party reached out to them about their candidacy, but none of them responded.

Likewise, the presidential hopefuls didn’t attend the Democrats’ state convention last October and didn’t send representatives in their place to nominate them. As a result, the State Executive Committee only approved Biden’s name for placement on the PPP ballot.

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