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Libertarian Attorney General candidate files complaint against elections office

Florida Attorney General candidate Bill Wohlsifer excluded by Collier County Supervisor of Elections
Photo used with permission from Bill Wohlsifer for Florida Attorney General

The Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Florida Attorney General, Bill Wohlsifer, took action this afternoon, July 22, 2014, filing an elections fraud complaint against Collier County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) chief Jennifer Edwards. We wrote about the incident in our column earlier today (see below under Suggested by the Author) noting Wohlsifer's name was excluded from a mock election conducted by Edwards' office.

The complaint was hand delivered at 3:16 yesterday afternoon at Florida's Division of Elections in Tallahassee. It states that official taxpayer-owned equipment (voting booths) and personnel were used to conduct a straw poll in Collier County for Florida's 2014 Attorney General race. The voting equipment included the names of Republican Party candidate Pam Bondi and two Democratic Party challengers, while Libertarian Party candidate Bill Wohlsifer was kept from voter's view.

This is the type of behavior often seen in the media as an attempt to "steer" elections away from third party candidates in favor of keeping public interest on the Democrats and Republicans. It is a way to discreetly discredit certain candidates as not being "viable" even though their name will appear on the ballot--voters will not know who they are. Keeping the names and faces of candidates other than the Democrat or Republican, is an attempt to subtly put in the voter's minds that they are not worthy of your consideration.

As we noted in our article earlier this morning, Wohlsifer supporter, Jo Vaccarino, stated, "I, like most voters, naturally assumed that all candidates who qualified to be on our ballots in November would be on this mock ballot because it was run by the SOE using the same ballot format, voting booths and ballot reader they’ll use in November. Imagine my surprise when I tried to vote for my favorite candidate and his name was missing from the ballot. In the race for Attorney General, there were only three candidates listed. But I know there is a fourth – my candidate, Bill Wohlsifer. I asked the Supervisor of Elections how they could exclude my candidate who met the same criteria and paid the same $7,738.32 fee to qualify to be on our ballots as the other three?"

Jennifer Edwards has a Constitutional obligation to the voting public to be impartial and inclusive rather than exclusive. She does not have the luxury some media may possess to exclude candidates and her exclusion of Wohlsifer is a serious matter that Wohlsifer will, no doubt, rabidly seek restitution.

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