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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Tooting His Own Horn

Alachua County GOP Chair Travis Horn is about as petty and hypocritical as they come. It seems that voter fraud is only important to him when he can accuse Democrats of committing it, and he is obviously willing to level such charges with little to no evidence that any crime or even unethical action occurred.

After the county's election supervisor turned in a GOP-funded group to local prosecutors on suspicion of voter fraud – as reported here -- Horn was silent. The group was caught secretly changing voter's party affiliation to Republican by getting them to sign petitions for fake ballot issues. Election Supervisor Bev Hill, about as moderate and forgiving of campaign mistakes as there is – turned in more than 500 registration forms from the GOP group after complaints from UF students alerted her of the scam. She labeled the case "voter fraud."

Horn was apparently cleaning his assault rifle or whatever and didn't deem the allegations important enough to comment on. He has been quite vocal on other allegations of election misconduct, however, which is surprising because in both cases there simply was no case.

In September he labeled a last-minute write-in candidacy for the Alachua County Commission "voter fraud" because it closed the Aug. 31 primary election to only Democrats. Two Dems were the only other candidates, and if the write-in candidate had not joined the race, all voters would be been eligible to vote in the primary.

However, the write-in candidacy is part of state law and the closing of the primary is in the state constitution. Based on spurious claims no supported by any evidence, Horn accused incumbent County Commissioner Mike Byerly of "colluding" with the write-in candidate to join the race and "disenfranchise" non-Democrat voters.

It was a selective use of words, that's for sure. If my wife and I agree to file our taxes jointly and not separately, you could say we were colluding. Colluding to follow the law, but in collusion nonetheless. And as far as disenfranchising voters, the claim is silly because all voters will be able to vote in that race on Nov. 2.

Think of it this way – if a Republican had filed to run in the County Commission race, that would have closed the primary also. Would Horn accuse that person of trying to disenfranchise non-Democratic voters?

Horn's latest ravings come from the early voting lines at the downtown election office. He claims several Democrats were trying "impeding" voters by lobbying them from legally designated areas. Again, he is accusing people of following the law.
Oh, the humanity….


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