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Florida Almost set an Election Precedent

December 2nd, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

A hearing tonight by the Michigan Senate Oversight committee will hear testimony on election irregularities. Some GOP members still want legislatures in contested states to order their electors to vote for President Trump, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the same thing nearly happened here in Florida during the 2000 recount.

It was a rare sight 20 years ago. The State House introduced a resolution.

“A con concurrent resolution appointing electors for President and Vice President of the United States” read the title.

The Florida House was doing what governor Ron DeSantis has been urging other legislatures to do: ordering electors to vote for a specific candidate.”

Rep. Dudley Goodlet (R-Ft. Myers) was the rules chair and lead the charge.

“This power is conferred upon the legislatures of the states by the Constitution of the United States” Goodlet told colleagues on the House floor.

At the time, Democrats, including newly elected Dan Gelber of Miami, argued the effort was an attempt to steal the election.

“We will be disenfranchising every single voter” predicted gelber.

The House approved the resolution along party lines, 79 to 41.

But the Senate took a much more cautious approach, delaying a vote until it was absolutely necessary to preserve the state’s electoral vote. John McKay was the President at the time.

“I was very concerned Florida’s actions might be used in the future as justification to certify votes for one Presidential candidate or another” McKay told us by phone.

And what nearly happened here 20 years ago likely would have set a precedent for today’s legislatures in contested states.

Dan Gelber is now the Mayor of Miami Beach.

“Had the Senate acted, I think it would be something thats would not be just  bad precedent, but there would always be an urge, from one side or the other,  to impose its will over the will of the voters” says Gelber today.

And The window for any state legislatures to vote is narrowing. Electors meet December 14th in every Capitol across the Country. 

The Florida Senate never took a vote in 2000, but it would have if it was needed to make the states electors votes count.

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