Election Connection: Early Voting, Observations for Primary Election – Orange County

Trish Martin

Trish Martin


From the Editor’s Desk:

We really don’t have any excuses here in the United States of America, for not voting in every election. Not only do we have the freedom to vote (many people fought and died over the years for our right to do so), we also have various ways to vote. It doesn’t matter how frustrated you are with your political party (ouch!) or how frustrated you are with some of the candidates running (ouch again!).

This time around, in the upcoming Primary Election on August 26, let’s not make excuses for exercising our right and responsibility to vote.

As long as you are registered, you can vote by absentee ballot, vote early at designated locations throughout the county or vote on election day at your designated polling site. Early voting starts today, Aug. 15, at designated locations and runs through Sunday, Aug. 24.

No excuses: There are about a dozen early voting places in Orange County, mostly libraries and community centers. You may also vote early at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office at 119 W. Kaley St., Orlando, FL 32806. The hours are: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


As I’ve said before, “Your Vote IS Your Voice.”

Is anyone paying as close attention to these state and local elections?

Did you know that there are two Democrats running to try to steal the governor’s seat from current Republican Gov. Rick Scott? That’s right former Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Sen. Nan H. Rich will battle it out to face Scott in the November General Election.

Who knows how that will turn out: According to reports, Crist has raised more money than she has but he is facing a uphill battle among many Democrats who point to his switching from being a Republican (as governor), then independent and now Democrat. Rich, former Senate Minority Leader, has been asking him to debate; He has refused. Their race is on the Primary Election ballot.

Ok, folks, if you are a Democrat and you want your team to retain this seat which covers much of Northwest Orange County, you better vote for the candidate you think can beat Gov. Scott in the November election. (More about that later)

Former state Sen. Gary Siplin also wants another chance to serve on the state level. So in April, he filed paperwork to run against fellow Democrat Sen. Geraldine Thompson, the incumbent who filed in January 2013 to retain the seat. If you have been watching your mail, you know there has been some mudslinging going on in the race.

There are about a dozen circuit and county judges names on the ballot. Most of them, I have never heard “tell of” (in my grandmother’s voice).  Goggle will be our best friend in selecting some of these judges or we will have trust the judgment of friends, family members and last minute endorsements (which some are skeptical of because of their timing and perceived ulterior motives). Candidates: It won’t be our fault if you lose. Nine times out of 10, you haven’t done a good job of campaigning, especially in the African American community. Do you really want the job? Can’t take votes for granted.

It’s not all about name recognition either. Voters, such as myself, want to know what you have done in recent years to help the community and what is your vision for the future…what do you want to accomplish, if elected?

So all of the political signs around town amount to a hill of beans: We don’t know you, really. Too bad you did not get out and tell us about yourself at the many political forums held throughout the county. One or two visits to a church in the community on Sunday morning doesn’t count, in my opinion. No one gets to ask you a question, for the most part and some folks aren’t thinking about politics during that time. Think we should?

Let’s talk about the Orange County Commission races, which reminds me of the congestion on I-4 after an accident: It’s crowded as heck and it takes what seems like forever to clear.

There are six candidates in both the District 6 and District 2 races (including one write-in candidate -District 2). So you know there’s most likely going to be a run-off election for both of those race. I could be wrong. Why haven’t some of the candidates who haven’t gained ground in the races, taken a bow (out) and thrown their support toward a candidate who may be doing better in the race? Guess each one believes they can win or just don’t want people to say they quit. Most of the candidates kicked off their campaigns last year (and even at the end of 2012), while a few jumped in the races several months before the qualifying period ended (in June).

Go figure: Mayor Teresa Jacobs is running totally unopposed as of several weeks ago, when the last candidate – a write in candidate by the name of Jeffrey Clyde Tepper – withdrew from the race, according to the elections office.

The other candidate, Dunel Cadely, who had been in the race for a while,  could not come up with the money to get on the ballot. Say what? I wish you could have saw my face and heard my tone when listening to an elections official explain what had happened. Not good at all.

Still, some of us are wondering if we can trust Jacobs after the text message scandal several years ago, involving the proposed paid sick time referendum. Ironically, the issue is on the upcoming Primary Election ballot. 

I wanted so badly for former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings (another candidate in the mayoral race) to win against Jacobs.  Demings would have done a great job as mayor, I thought.

Voters here had better pay attention also to the two amendments on the primary election ballot.  We’ve heard about one before: a proposal for guaranteed sick time for employees working at businesses in the county. (That is, businesses with more than 15 employees)

The other amendment has to do with the renewal of the one-cent sales surtax on all taxable transactions in the county. The amendment says the money is to fund the construction and renovation of school facilities, among other things. The additional “penny” sales surtax would be in effect Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2025.

While those two are big issues, voters will answer a question about an even bigger issue this November during the General Election: Should marijuana be permitted for medical conditions?

It would be for medical conditions – that’s it. 

Stay tuned — We will talk about that next and the handling of absentee ballots in the county.

Until then, go vote – early!

Trish Martin, Founder & Editor / Email: trish.martin@att.net

© Orlando Community News, 2014




About OrlandoCommunityNews

Founder and Editor of Orlando Community News and freelance writing service. Lover of God, Auto Finance-Sales Professional, “Mese” baby, Proud Aunt
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