Mark Foley’s name must remain on the ballot although he resigned his seat. However, his replacement, Joe Negron, has been told by Leon Circuit Judge Janet Ferris he is not allowed to post signs clarifying the fact that a vote for Foley is a vote for Negron.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) – The candidate replacing Florida’s disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley on the ballot in next month’s election has been barred from posting signs at polling places clarifying that votes for Foley will actually go to him, authorities said on Wednesday.
Foley, a six-term Republican congressman, resigned from Congress on September 29 amid revelations that he sent sexually explicit messages to young male congressional aides.
Rules prohibited taking Foley’s name off the ballot so close to the November 7 election. So the Republicans’ replacement candidate, Joe Negron, had asked election supervisors to post signs at the polls telling voters that ballots cast for Foley would elect him instead.
But Florida Circuit Court Judge Janet Ferris ruled against posting the signs outside the nearly 300 precincts in the eight-county congressional district once represented by Foley.
What’s the problem with making sure voters know for whom they are voting? To keep Foley’s name on the ballot without any explanation that Joe Negron is actually the candidate is to perpetrate a fraud on Florida’s 16th district voters. This is real voter disenfranchisement. Rather than making sure the voters have all the information they need to make an accurate and deliberate choice, the Democrats, assisted by Judge Ferris, want voters to think that they would be actually voting for Mark Foley, who is no longer the candidate.