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You’ll Shop for 43 Minutes a Day, But You Won’t Take 15 Minutes to Vote Every Two Years

| August 19, 2012

If only it were a voting precinct. (Chrissy Hunt)

It is a biennial reminder of how nearly pathetic Floridians’ sense of civic responsibility can be, and how empty such words as “community” and “citizenship” are beyond the back-patting of Rotary Club meetings: Barely 20 percent—one in five registered voter—actually cast a ballot in last week’s primary. In Flagler County, the figure was a none-too-impressive 25 percent.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive That’s not even a true reflection of irresponsibility. The number of registered voters is itself an embarrassment when one in four Floridian isn’t registered to vote. When all eligible voters are considered, the true voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary was 15.5 percent (1.33 million votes cast out of an 18-and-over population of 15 million, going by the Census Bureau’s 2011 figures). Put another way, 84 percent of adult Floridians were irresponsible enough last Tuesday to shrug off their one civic responsibility that comes around every two years, a responsibility that requires all of 15 to 30 minutes to fulfill. Yet Americans have no problem spending 43 minutes a day shopping, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even in Grand Haven, the precinct known to have the most politically engaged constituency and the highest turnout, got just 40 percent of registered residents went to the polls. No other Flagler County precinct came close, but it’s still a dismal number. And some precincts, like the 15th and 16th, representing Palm Coast’s P section, had 17 and 18 percent turnout. (Again, that’s registered voters: the proportion of eligible voters is lower.) Of course just as West Virginia always has Mississippi beating it to the bottom, in Palm Coast the P section has the R section, which wins the crown of lard for laziest precinct in the county, with a 16 percent turnout. For the record, I used to live in West Virginia many years ago, and live in the P section now.

In the 1980s, primaries attracted about a third of registered voters in the state, down from about half in the 1960s. At this rate voter turnout in a couple of decades will match the proportion of people who still go to the opera.

This happening at a time when voting couldn’t be made more convenient. You practically have to hide from authorities to avoid getting registered. The overwhelming majority of adults drive. They’re asked by law whether they want to be registered whenever they renew their driver’s license, which they must do every five years. The state Legislature has done its best to turn registration drives into something of a crime, but despite those efforts, with the web’s convenience, it’s not as if getting registered is more complicated than buying a book through Amazon. It’s actually much easier, and it costs nothing. Add to that early voting days, the ease of getting an absentee ballots, the sprawl of voting precincts and the reminders of candidates and volunteers brandishing signs on every other street corner on election day: if you’re still not voting in spite of it all, your laziness is remarkable.

Not voting is not in and of itself a sin. It can also be a statement, a rejection of a system that appears unrepresentative or too limiting. And primaries are by nature limiting. Independents, who account for about a fifth of registered voters, couldn’t vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries, and in some counties—mine included—one party or another, by running sham write-ins, did an excellent job in closing a few primaries that would have otherwise been general elections, because their winner is the overall winner regardless. But even when you set aside those reasons, it doesn’t explain the low turnout.

You’re required to carry liability insurance. You’re required to pay taxes, to keep your children in school, to have a driver’s license, to buckle your seat belt, to keep your grass mowed. You’re even required to show your photo id when voting, and soon if Republicans have their way, you’ll be required to prove straight genealogical descent from the Mayflower to be eligible to vote. But somehow, you’re not actually required to vote.

The last two decades’ primary turnout in Florida, all of which have been as bad as Tuesday’s, suggest maybe it’s time to look at other models. In Australia and a few other countries, it’s mandatory to vote. That doesn’t sound too democratic, particularly since voting is a right, not, as too many people still claim, a privilege. But if we can be made to cut our grass a certain height on the threat of daily fines in the hundreds of dollars, surely we can be made to vote, once every two years. That wouldn’t be nearly as undemocratic as 75 percent of the electorate sitting out an election, and people who have no business holding public office winning them.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

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54 Responses for “You’ll Shop for 43 Minutes a Day, But You Won’t Take 15 Minutes to Vote Every Two Years”

  1. sparkle says:

    I agree. What a shame! Yet, you will hear all kinds of gripping and finger pointing on issues citizens don’t agree with. . . Palm Coast RESIDENTS: if you really mean it, and you really care about a true change. . . VOTE or shut up. You are wasting our precious listening time with your ‘concerns about issues that WE can’t fix’ . . . you are part of the reason our country is in the shape it is. DO something about it! You have the magical power of voting to elect newly formed House Seat #24 to benefit Flagler County. Your vote can give Flagler a seat in Tallahassee. It is your representation to lose. . . I want my America back.

  2. JR says:

    Sure, that’s a great idea, make it a requirement to vote. Why don’t you limit the ballot to one person, as well?Approved by the dear leaders (who know best).

  3. Samuel Smith says:

    Not that I don’t agree with the article, but you have to acknowledge the possibility that voter turnout is terrible because people simply don’t think their vote matters. Just look at the 2000 election, where the popular vote had Gore in office but the electoral vote (you know, those people that can insider trade and get money from lobbyists) elected Bush.

    • Johnny Taxpayer says:

      I don’t know what is more concerning, the fact that your comment illustrates your absolute ignorance of how our electoral system works, or the fact that your vote cancels out mine.

      • Samuel Smith says:

        I’m well aware of how the electoral system works, you buy stock in the company that lobbies your views most effectively.

  4. tulip says:

    Nicely done and how true! I think it would be a very different climate if Florida, or any other state like Fl let all parties vote, get rid of closed primaries and the clubs that deliberately close races. Why not create excitement about the candidates, not wars, and make learning about the candidates interesting and truthful, not frought with innuendos and lies.

    But that will never happen because there will always be control freaks that will endorse anybody, it doesn’t matter whether they are qualified or not, just to get control.

    Flagler County is going to change, and not for the good, I’m afraid.

    • Magnolia says:

      Tulip, goodness sakes, how can it possibly get any worse? The people in office now are not helping. Their expertise is spending money hiring others to do their jobs.

  5. Clint says:

    Yes, I voted…..Yes, I did cut my grass again this week so I don’t get a “code enforcement certificate”.
    Yes, I noticed there were only two voters in the voting booths when I got there. Yes, I agree there are some lazy ass people here in Palm Coast. And Yes, most of those are on the city council or working in city jobs. Yes. we pay to much taxes for what we get in this city…….And YES…I need some of you lazy city workers to get out of your trucks and come clean my swale out before my dog drowns from chasing all the snakes and frogs in them.

    • downinthelab says:


      I’ve got bahia, so I’m up to mowing twice a week!!
      I voted independent, like that was worth my time. Keeping Flagler County Schools out of the bottom eighth in the state I guess…
      Anyone got a recipie for those tadpoles in the swales??

  6. question says:

    Sad irony. A majority of Americans can mosey on into a polling location and just vote.

    And even then most don’t.

    On the other hand, in PA alone, more than 750,000 Pennsylvania voters could be disenfranchised on November 6 via new voter photo ID laws, cunningly created by 14 Republican/Tea party states…for the purpose of suppressing Dem’s votes…

    even though voter fraud is about 0.0007%
    … a solution in search of a non-existent problem. Just so they can get the result they want…rigged elections.

    WHEN did this happen…why were we not paying attention to this U.S. takeover?

    • Magnolia says:

      Question, in most cities you have to have some form of photo ID for just about everything you do. I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying this.

      It takes 5 minutes to get a photo ID. You must have one to drive, to vote in most cities, to buy a beer, to collect your benefits from the government. They give you one at birth and again when you die.

      If you’re too damned lazy to do this most likely you are not going to vote. We have to be the laziest damned country on the planet.

      • w.ryan says:

        Magnolia…Americans work more hours per day than any other industrial nation in the world!!! One other thing about casting a vote. Why put obstacles in peoples way? The reasons given to change the laws guiding photo ID is false!
        According to the article above, which was a good read, people don’t come out to vote so why make it harder for them?

  7. Yellowstone says:

    Now here’s an idea – impose a fine on anyone not voting. After a number of times they are fined they are required to reregister – proving, by oath, they are truely interested.

    Those not interested are either apathetic, not informed, not capable of making a decision, can’t read, or out of state (mentally as well as physically). They don’t need to vote – get’em off the rolls!

    Let’s see if we can figure out a way to vote online. I can vote for my CEO, members of the Board of Directors, and do stock purchases, and do normal banking online. So what’s the big deal about voting online?

    Don’t give me, “But you really don’t know who voted!”. Who knows who votes via Absentee Ballot?

    Go VOTE this next time – or you are subject to having your rights taken away.

  8. rrr says:

    It’s a shame when people don’t vote and they will be the first ones to complain when things aren’t to their liking.. If you want change get out and vote or things will never change..

    • Please says:

      Change…what change? Nothing ever really changes. What choices do we have in Nov? I have the options of voting for someone I don’t want, or someone else I don’t want. We just got 2 new people elected to City Council. What’s changed?

  9. Nancy N. says:

    There’s a flaw in your calculation in the second paragraph. That 15 million number includes everyone living in Florida – including A LOT of people who aren’t actually eligible to vote, even though they are over 18: non-citizens and felons. There are 1.5 million people in Florida that are disenfranchised because they are felons – 10.4% of the adult population, to be exact, according to a recent survey.

  10. kmedley says:

    In another article published this weekend, our SOE expressed her concern and hopes for better turnout for the General Election. Her innovative steps towards increasing voter turnout inlcude are described as:

    “One way Weeks’ office will try to encourage residents of Flagler County to become more involved in the November election is by printing information about the races in menus at local restaurants. Weeks said she negotiated with a local printer who supplies menus to restaurants to launch this campaign at no cost to the county.

    This tactic will join the virtual button campaign that Weeks’ office used for the primary election — a link that was posted to public websites and shared online, directing viewers to information about the upcoming election.

    “We’re trying to be creative in our approaches,” Weeks said. “With online media, there are always more ways for us to be in conversation with voters.”

    Another strategy Weeks adopted was sending an election information card and sample ballot to every registered voter in the county. These were sent early last month, she said.

    I had to laugh as I read this. Information about local races printed on menus?! That’s thinking outside of the box?! OMG! So a potential voter will have to go to a restaurant and pay for a meal in order to learn about upcoming elections from a menu. This will team up with the virtual button. How many of you knew about the virtual button used with this past primary election? Did the SOE’s office use any methodology for being able to account for the button’s effectiveness, i.e., how many “hits” the site received as a result of the button?

    $40,000 for the Sample Ballots and the voter information card!! How many were returned by the post office? From what I saw, trays upon trays of returned sample ballots were or are still at the office and the Post Office confirmed 8 – 10 percent of this mailing was returned. And this returned mail will be used as a part of the List Maintenance which has the potential of listing a voter as inactive. This wasn’t a strategy, it was a requirement of the statutes and in Orange County, the precinct and polling locations were such their SOE sent two separate mailings, the Sample ballot and the NEW voter information cards, with a clear indication that polling locations had changed and this was a NEW card. The precinct and polling location changes were known of, by the SOE, in March of this year, and not presented to the Board of County Commissioners, or for that matter discussed at any level with the voters, until May 7, 2012.

    If nothing else, the primary race for SOE drew attention to the complete lack of voter education in this county. Sadly, I don’t anticipate any changes.

    With regards to the use of the write-in candidates, ask yourself this simple question. How many write-ins are still in the race?

    “Both parties have abused the write-in rule statewide. Before Ms. Harris’ opinion, there were only three instances since 1978 in which the winner of a primary faced only write-in candidates in the general election. But from 2000 to 2010 there were 58 such instances — a whopping 1,800-percent increase”.

    I do not doubt the power of the write-in candidacy. Look at Murkowski in Alaska. She actually got those folks to spell her name. That’s impressive; but she chose that route because she truly wanted to win her race.

    IMO, the write-in candidate provision needs to be challenged and ultimately changed. It circumvents the 1998 Amendment to the State Constitution. I would think now would be the time to use the energy to form a coalition against write-ins.

    When you do the math, using the figures of from the SOE’s website, the overall voter turnout increase from the 2008 Primary is .84%. Now let’s compare the increase in registered voters and the increase in total cards cast.

    In 2008, there were 56,711 registered voters at the time of the Primary. In 2012, there were 67,606. That’s an almost 12% increase in registered voters.

    In 2008, there were 13,742 total cards cast and in 2012 there were 16,949 for an increase of a little more than 12%. So the ratio of cards cast to registered voters in within but a few points of each other. Yet, the overall percentage of voter turnout is less than 1% increase.

    We now have a candidate, who during the Primary, was fined by the Florida Elections Commission and paid the fines from the campaign account. Now this will be attributed to errors on the part of “the candidate’s team”. The Florida Statutes are clear. It is the candidate’s responsibility to see compliance with all Florida Election laws is maintained. Now, Weeks will use this, and should, to challenge the supervisory skills. This is what happens when one allows others to do their homework. IMO, as it stands now, the Weakest, supported by the RR, will face Weeks and has given her ample ammunition to use.

    Some will interpret any comments I make as sour grapes. I’ve heard those words before and they do not disuade me from offering criticism with factual information.

  11. sam8131 says:

    Agree. Although, the article would be more believiable without “and soon if Republicans have their way, you’ll be required to prove straight genealogical descent from the Mayflower to be eligible to vote”. Can’t you write something without accusing people you don’t agree with of doing things they are not doing. Look in the mirror.

    • Liana G says:

      Sam, what Pierre meant is, according to real history, the folks on the Mayflower were society’s despots and misfits – thieves, crooks, prostitutes, and murderers. Pretty much sums up our elites. Australia eh? Hmmm…. the history does bear some resemblance.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      sam, nice try deflecting the point. I’m not accusing “people I don’t agree with” of anything. I’m accusing Republican lawmakers of being bigoted and hypocritical sons of bitches who have turned voter suppression into what Tim Noah of the New Republic very aptly calls “systematic disenfranchisement of lower income blacks and Latinos,” in a piece rich in documented examples from court files and the mouth of those same Republicans. I don’t look in mirrors. I look at evidence. You might try it. Here’s a sample from Noah: “THE GOP IS supposed to pretend that its 2012 strategy doesn’t include the systematic disenfranchisement of lower-income blacks and Latinos. But in June, Mike Turzai, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, blew his party’s cover by blurting out: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania? Done.” The press was jubilant. It was as if Koch Enterprises had acknowledged global warming.

      Since at least 2008, when minority voters gave Barack Obama his victory margin––Obama won only 43 percent of the white vote––Republicans have increasingly relied on voter suppression to counterbalance the steady shrinkage of America’s white majority. Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (currently under indictment for stealing party funds) stated in a deposition released in July that a 2009 party meeting included discussion of “voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting.” In December, Paul Schurick, a top aide to former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of election fraud for using automated phone calls to suppress the African American vote during Ehrlich’s unsuccessful 2010 bid. “The first and most desired outcome is voter suppression,” stated one consultant’s memo entered into evidence. It described a “Schurick Doctrine” to “promote confusion, emotionalism and frustration among African American Democrats.”

      Most of the disenfranchisement is less obviously crude and presented to the public as hygienic electoral reform. But the pathogens it seeks to remove are African Americans, Latinos, and other lower-income folks who resist voting Republican. You’ve probably heard something about it, but Turzai’s gaffe invites us to review, with open eyes, how this racket actually works. It’s an obscenity no longer hiding in plain sight.

      Voter ID. The preeminent tool. Attorney General Eric Holder has correctly likened voter ID laws, which have passed in 33 states, to poll taxes. Their popularity derives from their reasonableness. Why shouldn’t we prevent imposters from committing electoral identity theft? Because it solves a nonexistent problem. New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice calculates the incidence of individual voter fraud to be literally equivalent to the incidence of individual Americans getting struck by lightning.” Read the full piece here.

      • Johnny Taxpayer says:

        From your cited article “25 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of Latinos don’t have any [sufficient photo ID]”… How can this statistic possibly be true? How does 1 in 4 African Americans live without a state issued ID? I’d love for someone to explain this to me. Where are these millions of people who don’t drive, don’t cash checks, don’t have any type of utility bill, and evidently are either homeless or live with relatives because I’m not sure you could rent, not a lone buy a house or apartment without some sort of photo id.

        I find the reference to Robocalls in the article somewhat humorous as the author is happy to imply that Republicans apparently invented and are the exclusive users of robocalls, when in reality the shameful tactic is used by both sides, probably evenly.

  12. tulip says:

    @ YELLOWSTONE: The concept is interesting, but even if they really could force a person into the voting booth, it doesn’t mean they will actually fill out the ballot. They could stay in the booth for a couple of minutes, put ballot in the folder and put into the machine as a blank ballot, and no one would know who did it.

  13. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Compulsory voting laws are not needed because quite frankly if someone can’t be bothered to spend the 15 minutes it takes to vote, then we as a populous are probably better off with them not voting. How far are you going to take this? Will there be mandatory education on the candidates and issues? Prepared by whom?

  14. Jack Howell says:

    You know, I have to reflect back to my school days and remember just how important the right to vote really is. Our teachers made sure that we knew the importance of our civic duties. I also remember how the Veterans of WWII and Korea showed their patriotic duty and got out the vote. This is one of the rights they were willing to die for on the field of battle so we would retain that right! Then came Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, the removal of prayer from the schools, the abundance of drugs in our neighbor hoods and the creation of the “I can do whatever I want attitude” and to hell with you all, and disrespect for our flag and nation! Kids are out of control in our schools and parents can’t parent so it becomes no shock that we don’t vote. Our society is too selfabsorbed to do the right thing. Our Fore Fathers can only weep as many of our nations’s citizens don’t have a clue how precious a vote is and that is a crying shame.

  15. bill harvey says:

    i don’t know if you know this or not clint , but the swale is your responsibility that is what i was told by a city worker who i had complained to one day on my street .

  16. bill harvey says:

    on the issue of taxes being high here i paid back in 2001 15,000 a year and now i pay eleven years later 2500 for a much better house and a inground pool which i could not have paid for back in ny. if i had the inground pool than i would have paid 16000, no complaints from me about taxes here.

  17. Jojo says:

    Maybe because people are disillusioned. It’s the same merry-go-round every two or four years. Hey! even some representatives in Washington are throwing in the towel. The old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same. When you get a guy like Rick Scott, who I feel should be in Federal prison and another guy like John MIca that only a crowbar can get him out of that seat and the sauteing Charlie Rangel, the crook he is but keeps get elected by his constituents. Well, people are hungry in this country and millions lost thir homes and millions still are looking for jobs. How is voting going to improve their lot right now.

  18. question says:

    Anyone who lives in such a myopic and likely FOX little world, who believes that anyone
    who can’t just hop in their car, with their original, raised stamp Birth Certificate and lots of cash to get a government photo ID are
    • too damned lazy/it only takes 5 minutes
    you are probably a Conservative who does not read provided links and are extremely immune to non-tea party facts -videos, more of which are below:

    * Restrictive voter identification policies – especially those that require state-issued photo ID cards – threaten to exclude millions of eligible voters.
    * As many as 10% of eligible voters do not have, and will not get, the documents required by strict voter ID laws. For some groups, the percentage is much higher.
    * ID requirements fall hardest on people who have traditionally faced barriers at the polls.
    * ID requirements are not justified by any serious or widespread problem.
    * There is no reason for states to implement burdensome ID requirements.
    * States that do require proof of identity at the polls should permit an expansive range of proof.

    You are not going to steal this election with impunity.

    • Magnolia says:

      Question, nobody is trying to steal anything. Burdensome ID requirements? We need a photo id in everything we do.

      Asking people to be responsible is not stealing. Letting them get away with it is.

  19. Vincent Liguori says:

    Good factual report. It’s not the time-it’s apathy. Remember, negative thoughts foster negative outcomes.

  20. w.ryan says:

    The demographic’s of the least voting sections answer a lot of questions but don’t absolve them.

  21. Jim N says:

    I think that they should tie voting with the homestead exemption on property taxes. Want your exemption, then you have to show you voted in the last election. No vote, no exemption, no excuses. If you were unable to drive to the polls, you can get a ride, or vote absentee.

    If you are going to claim the credit on the taxes for this being your home, then you can sure as heck be involved in who is directing things around here. We (Citizens) are the employers of government, not the other way around. It is about time we stepped up to our responsibilities!

  22. FBGirl says:

    I think it’s hilarious how all “city workers” are branded as lazy. You people do realize there are more to “city workers” than men who drive around city vehicles, right? I happen to know a couple personally that are extremely conscientious and all they get are insults and lack of respect from YOU. It’s time to start appreciating those that do it right and help to fight getting those who have nothing more than seniority out of there!

  23. Anon says:

    Bill Maher suggested, “require that all those having provincial, conservative, or bigoted attitudes, take literacy tests for proper spelling and grammatical correctness, and mandate that they must be able to count to twenty without taking off their shoes and socks.”

    Good thinking . . ?

  24. Elaygee says:

    Maybe if we were a little more modern and made voting easier instead of restricting it to certain days in certain places at certain hours, more poeple would vote.
    Some states allow elcetronic voting and they get huge turnouts.
    Some countries fine you for NOT voting. They also get spectacular turnouts.

    • Just Do It says:

      When voting was more difficult than it is today more people voted. Voting is made very convenient today, so there is no excuse! The heck with electronic voting, that is the problem now, no one will get off their butts! Freedom is taken for granted and Americans are spoiled and lazy!

    • Magnolia says:

      Elaygee, you could go to some of these homes personally and they still would not vote.

      w.ryan, harder? Why shouldn’t they be expected to be as responsible as the rest of us? Pretty hard to live without a photo ID these days. And if you don’t have one, they are now being offered free in many states.

      I’m sick of everyone not being expected to pull their weight in this country. That’s why these people are still down. From what I could see, there are plenty of volunteers these days trying to get your vote.

  25. question says:

    MANDATORY voting … in the approx. 20th stupid country in the industrialized world…who know every Kardashian but not in which hemisphere the U.S. resides, and approx 50% believe whatever FOX says.

    …uh oh, I see the right wing point. … :( …

  26. Bill McGuire says:

    Having worked at the polls the last three elections it seems to me that, far and away, the voters are the elderly. I am just as worried about no under 40 voters showing up as I am the total turnout. If the younger generation doesn’t care about voting then what happens to the country when us baby boomers are gone?

  27. Liana G says:

    I find it hard to buy into the race issue when whites make up 68% of the American population. Blacks make up 13% and latinos make up 16%. That’s on 29% of the votes providing they are ALL eligible to vote.

    Michale Moore aptly stated that is not that George Bush doesn’t like black people [or colored people] (Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Alberto Gonzales, etc), it’s that he doesn’t like poor people. The focus should then be on the disenfranchisement of poor people. Making it a race issue is too divisive and distracting. Same on you democrats! Again!

  28. JL says:

    It’s rediculous to think that requiring an I.D. will keep people from voting. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where they just passed a law requiring I.D.’s, an person can obtain a State I.D. “FREE OF CHARGE”. I had to pay for my driver’slicense. Now, come on people. They gave everyone plenty of time to go get the FREE I.D. There is no excuse. I see no reason why we shouldn’t be showing our I.D. when we vote. I have always wondered why they don’t ask for I.D. You need an I.D. to cash checks, to get a job, to do many things, why don’t people already have an I.D.?

    More important question to people – Why didn’t you vote? I did. So I have the right to speak out against politicians when I disagree with them. If you did not vote, then shut up. So many people fought long and hard for the right to vote. It’s a shame people don’t take it seriously. Even if you do not like the people running, you still need to help choose. I do not like either party running for President this term. But I will pick who I think is the lesser of two evils.

  29. BW says:

    I think the issue of voter turnout is important. Interestingly enough it seems to be more and more dismal but no one ever really questions how accurate are the voter roles? How many of the sample ballots that were sent out and cost the county over $40,000 came back to the Post Office? Why were Palm Coast Plantation voters showing up at the wrong polling location in Flagler Beach?

    It’s obvious that we need change in the Elections Office because Ms. Weeks is not the best person for that position. Contrary to Ms. Medley’s opinion that no one other than she be elected for that post (although at the beginning of the campaign her “commitment” was ousting Ms. Weeks whether she won or lost the primary) , there is a candidate that is far more responsible and has a very good plan to clean things up there and that has demonstrated strong managerial abilities and experience with managing large budgets. It is time for Ms. Weeks to truly be accountable for her lack of professionalism.

    • FACT says:

      Kimberle B. Weeks is the current Supervisor, she has cleaned things up, she has demonstrated strong managerial abilities and she has proven experience managing her personal budget and the budget of the Supervisor of Elections Office. Kimberle B. Weeks is the only candidate qualified for the position of Supervisor of Elections. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

  30. Ben Blakely says:

    Don’t sugar coat this issue. People are SELFISH, SELF ABSORBED, and care practically nothing of their civic duties.
    What they care about are their TV shows, their incessant talking and playing with their smart phone, what they will eat next, when they will go shopping, and what kind of gossip they can spread around.

    Yes, Americans have become a nation of fat, lazy, self absorbed, conceited, barely patriotic people. It is a disgraceful state of affairs. And for those who may be put off by my opinion, learn to live with it because my view is based accurately on what I see and hear every day.

  31. BW says:

    I’d also like to address Ms. Medley’s (kmedley) attempt to disparage others after she did not win. Let’s be honest about the issues you are presenting rather than attenpting to try and create the illusion of larger issues.

    1. The “fine” you are speaking of is in regards to the word “for” accidentally not being printed on signs. Coincidentally the same word not appearing on other of her opponents signs. Not so “sexy” of a story there when it’s put in that light huh?

    2. Interestingly enough the front-runner was the only one with a complaint. A complaint that only Ms. Medley brings up and has such intimate knowledge of. Let’s put two and two together as to where the complaint came from.

    3. Yes, I’m sure occasionally mistakes happen with candidates. Similar to one quitting two good jobs, filing for unemployment, and finding out your not allowed to receive unemployment when you quit even though it is clearly spelled out. I think it is easy for the person who does not work to point fingers at a team of professionals and a candidate that are all working 40+ hours each week. As you seem to agree it would be nice to have more support and service from a Supervisor and staff in the Elections Office that would help provide better direction.

    4. “The weakest supported by the RR” is quite off. You were third. You received only 16.04% of the vote with the top two receiving 34.77% and 33.82%. I think it’s obvious that the RR and the voters supported the strongest candidates.

    There is an opening on the Palm Coast City Council and I understand interviews being conducted soon.

  32. Out of curiosity says:

    Open primaries…..

  33. tulip says:

    Let’s just stop the Brad West/K.Medley public animosity to each other. She has expressed her opinions, BW has expressed his. They both need to be gracious and back off and move on. The Primary is over. I do admit the candidates that will be in the General aren’t the best of choices, but that’s up to the voters and a running feud will accomplish nothing.

    Enough has been said between those two and, as with any angry situation, private things can come out that perhaps shouldn’t .

    So please, BW and Mrs, Medley, concentrate on your own lives and families. It’s been a rough, nasty primary for many, and that brings out more than the normal amount of anger in people, and continuing this feud will serve no purpose except to cause more grief and delay the healing process.

  34. TC says:

    Weeks was recognized by the Governor just a few months ago for being one of the best SOE’s in the state. She has done a fantastic job the past 4 years even though the commissioners have given her a hard time. The never treated Peggy Border so disrespectful, never cut her budget, never micromanaged her. If some candidates can’t read their materials and follow the laws, they don’t deserve to be Supervisor. Accidents can’t happen when conducting elections. Weeks isn’t to blame if people don’t read their mail and get out and vote. We need to stick with what we know works and not vote for someone with no experience who makes empty promises. Lots of accusations have been made against the SOE office and staff with no evidence to support any of them. There are no ethics violations or sign violations against Weeks, only against those running against her because they want to claim they can do her job, when the proof is there, they can’t.

    • Magnolia says:

      Excuse me, but how many communities do you know that shuffle the voting places around before each election? No wonder turnout here is so low. Nobody knows where they are supposed to vote!

      If that kind of thing is why she apparently won this award, for saving money, the voters paid a very high price for this woman.

      • Its your fault says:

        Read your mail! I read mine, I knew where to go to vote. No all locations changed, so what is the excuse for those who didn’t face changes for not voting? I am sure changes aren’t made unless it is necessary.

  35. BW says:


    A few things that you (and so does Ms. Weeks) are leaving out:

    1. The recognition was for a timing of mostly uploading votes quickly . . . for an election that had minimal votes. I guess the important thing for our tax dollars is that we keep the number of voters voting at the lowest possible levels so our SOE can receive “awards”?

    2. As for her being a “victim”, I don’t recall Peggy Border calling meetings with a full 2-inch binder and expecting Commissioners to sit through her reading a dissertation of attacks against them. I don’t recall Peggy Border misusing tax dollars to pay bonuses to employees. I don’t recall Peggy Border using her position and going out of her way to try and publicly humiliate other public officials because of personal vendettas she had.

    3. Accusations? Do a simple search on this site complete with attached documentation and even audio.

    4. I don’t think we should allow this type of person to abuse our tax dollars which is exactly what she’s done. In regards to “sign violations” you are actually incorrect. Ms. Weeks placed quite a few signs in areas within Palm Coast not allowed by the City and on personal property without approval. She had to take those signs down.

    TC, she banks on voters not being aware and that is sad.

    Tulip, I have no animosity. I just don’t care for the handful of people who engage in slander campaigns in regards to our local elections. The small crowd from a local forum that have leaked over to here. Over the last few years they have gone out of their way to try and damage the reputations of good people. Facts are important. Some people just don’t care that others know the facts and point them out. This is my community too and I find nothing wrong with having a voice.

  36. TC says:

    I agree with you, facts are important; unfortunately you don’t have the facts and don’t report the facts. It is so sad you are involved in Trey Corbett’s campaign for Supervisor of Elections, and you say anything to try and convince the public to vote for Trey. Kmedley would have no reason to say anything negative about Trey Corbett if there weren’t some merit to it, so we all need to be asking questions, and be cautious of him.

    You are incorrect to state the SOE gave bonuses. If she had the annual auditors would have documented this in their annual report, and they have not. Each year the auditors look at the SOE’s financial records and have found no mismanagement or wrong doing since Weeks has been in office.

    I am very concerned that Trey Corbett claims to be able to manage our tax dollars if elected when he has proven to not be able to handle his own personal finances. His financial disclosure statement (Form 6) shows he has a net worth of a negative of more than $117,000. Why does he not disclose this when he is campaigning on how much better he can do managing the SOE’s budget than Weeks has? Weeks gave back nearly $100,000 to the board of county commissioners in 3 years. Seems to me Trey Corbett and yourself are trying to pull the wool over the voter’s eyes regarding Trey’s qualifications and ability to run for public office. It also seems to me Trey Corbett may be desperate for the SOE job as it pays more than his current job, and he has some serious personal financial matters.

    It is shameful you are making false accusations against the current SOE to try to get your friend elected.

  37. BW says:


    First of all, KMedley? Seriously?

    Second, “Auditor’s Report”? Ah, a Mazzie fan. The infamous “Auditor’s Report”. That darn report just never is taken seriously huh?

    Third, since you here on I am assuming you trust it as a valid news source so here are your facts:

    1. “Bonus” issue – (the copy of the check is there too for you)
    2. Wanting to publicly humiliate Alan Peterson –
    3. The 2-inch binder dissertation of her personal vendettas waste of time – (The audio portions of this are pretty entertaining)
    4. Take a look at the budget which Ms. Weeks stated at the NAACP forum as being $622k this year (’11-’12) and is actually $645,509 according to the Flagler County Government website ( which is also an increase of $4317 above the prior year. It’s a different website than the Auditor Report.

    I’m sorry . . . what was “false” in what I said before?

  38. tulip says:

    I am not a Weeks fan and she definately has her faults, but she has far more knowledge than Corbett, and has hopefully learned to work up a budget and use it wisely, It was astounding and very entertaining to watch her at the BOCC meetings and most assuredly learned the difference between a line item and lines on the paper! She has run the actual elections successfully and actually knows answers on her own. So, there has been some improvement.

    With a financial disclosure and information like Trey’s, I would not trust his ability to economically run the SOE office, work out a sensible budget, He can’t handle his own finances, why would someone trust him to run the finances of the SOE office? He has said he lets people do his homework for him, that’s a poor attitude, and it sounds like he will depend on others to run the office, very similar to how Kim Weeks was.

    I will not be voting for Trey, but will reluctantly vote for Weeks. Unfortunately we are left with poor choices, so I guess it’s pick your poison.

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