• Michael Maguire

Not every voter counts

Updated: Jan 20

From the office of the Polk County Supervisor of Elections:

“Our records indicate that a member of your household is not affiliated with the Democrat or

Republican party, so they will not be eligible to vote in the March 17, 2020 Presidential Primary Election.”

Every voter who registered with “no party affiliation” got this notice and will have to sit on the sidelines unless they change their registration on or before February 18.

This. Is. What’s. Wrong.

In all the cacophony about the Electoral College and Constitutional amendments - which present an impossible “solution” for the failure twice in this century of the votes of the people to elect the President - many simpler, more effective, and easily managed actual solutions are ignored. Individual state legislatures can change their rules with a simple majority vote in a single session in time for the November election. Many states already have “open” primaries allowing all registered voters to participate. It’s easy. It’s right.

“Independent” voters are inching toward a majority, outnumbering each of the established parties by almost double. But their lack of identity with the old guards is costing them the right to participate until after the insiders and partisans have chosen the final two.

This. Is. Also. What’s. Wrong.

But can be as easily remedied. States determine their own rules for awarding electoral votes and most now use the simplistic - and ridiculously subversive - winner-take-all formula, denying great swaths of the voting public any voice at all. In 2016, nearly 5,000,000 votes in Florida were dismissed - more than the total votes cast in each of 43 other states - and across the country the numbers are equally staggering.

Two states still award electoral votes based on each candidate’s share of the total, giving all voters a real choice. One legislative resolution and and one voting session will get the job done.

Stop cheering the team that screams “eliminate the Electoral College” and start speaking to your state senators and representatives. They can make this happen and they only need the permission of the voting public. That’s us. It’s not “them” who are wrecking the republic. It’s us.

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell

Citizens outside of Lakekand can find their state legislators here.

LEARN MORE - Florida Open Primaries | Florida Fair And Open Primaries


E-mail the commissioners

But one at a time, please!


For the most part, when recipients open an email that includes others they are less inclined to take it personally. Make sure your message resonates by sending it to each commissioner separately.

Scott Franklin - Stephanie Madden -  Sara McCarley - Chad Mcleod

Bill Mutz - Bill Read - Phillip Walker

Each of these noble citizens represents all the rest of us. The four geographic designations - Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, etc. - apply only to the residency requirements for commissioners, not to their constituents. Bill Read, for instance, lives in the city's northeast quadrant and is likely to be more in tune with the businesses and neighborhoods in that area, but serves us all as our representative to the city management and staff.

It will always help to send your message to City Manager Tony Delgado  because it's his job to implement whatever projects, resolutions, and ordinances the Commission proposes in response to our communication.


State legislators representing Lakeland

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell