State Rep. Emily Slosberg has proposed legislation to make it illegal for candidates to go into people’s homes and help them fill out their vote-by-mail ballot, closing a loophole revealed in a recent Palm Beach Post investigation. Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, cited The Post’s story when she proposed an amendment Wednesday to make the practice a third-degree felony. But she withdrew the amendment for the time being at the recommendation of a colleague. The freshman legislator said she was alarmed by Post stories that revealed that Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard and state Rep. Al Jacquet, both Democrats, won their seats after entering people’s homes and helping them fill out vote-by-mail ballots. Although their behavior drew condemnation from experts who believe it’s an improper campaign tactic, Florida’s laws did not make it illegal.
After reading the stories, Slosberg said she walked into the office of the Republican chairing the Public Integrity and Ethics Committee, of which she is a member, to find a way to ban the practice. Slosberg pointed to the Florida statute that bars someone from soliciting voters inside a polling place.
“Why should a person’s home be different?” she said. “In fact, it should be more secure.”
Slosberg proposed the amendment Wednesday before the House Government Accountability Committee but withdrew it at the same meeting upon the advice of state Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yalaha. Metz, who could not be reached for comment, chairs the ethics committee. Her amendment would have affected his campaign finance reform proposal.
Full Article: Vote-by-mail reform: Legislator pitches fix.