Jemele Hill, Staff writer for The Atlantic and once controversial ESPN sports reporter who was reassigned by the giant Sports Network because pants on fire Press Secretary Sanders complained about her tweeting the uncontroversial views that Don the Con is a straight up white supremacist and Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones should not discipline his players for exercising their constitutional rights, was forced to fill out a provisional ballot after flying across the country to vote in the Florida District where she owns a home and has been a permanent resident for at least the last 12 years.
“I had never been this paranoid about voting before. I checked my voter registration multiple times before flying to Florida for early voting. I traveled across the country to vote, rather than voting absentee. That’s how much I needed the reassurance of physically handing in my vote. Think of this paranoia as the post-traumatic stress of more than a century of blatant, consistent efforts by the right to undermine, discourage, and disenfranchise people of color. All too often, barriers have been placed in the way of our voting—or when election laws are applied, we’ve been held to a different standard.Unfortunately, my spidey senses turned out to be right. When I showed up at the polling site near my house, I found that I had been kicked off the registered-voter roll.A flurry of phone calls, and lots of head-nodding and “mmm-hmm”s from the supervisor of the polling site, failed to produce any explanation of why the system wasn’t showing me as a registered voter. I was allowed to fill out a provisional ballot. I was given two sheets of paper. One had my provisional-ballot number and explained my rights as a provisional voter. The other sheet listed a website and phone number for the Orange County supervisor of elections’ office in Orlando. I was told I could use that information to track my ballot.It wasn’t until 45 minutes later that this voting mystery began to unravel. Shortly after I left the polling site, an official from the elections office called me and told me that a tweet I had posted a few weeks earlier had been brought to their attention. I had written that I had recently moved to Los Angeles, but was returning to Florida for early voting so I could vote for Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.Being a journalist means signing up for life as a nomad. I’ve lived in three different cities this year alone. I’ve lived in six different cities over the course of my 21-year career in journalism. Part of the reason I bought a house in Orlando in 2006 was to establish a base of permanent residency—to have a place to call home, wherever I might temporarily reside. I have never rented my home to another person. I get my bank statements sent there. And I pay Florida property taxes.”
Putting aside for a moment the fact that Ms Hill was a property owner who maintained a residence in the district strictly for her own occupation, how is it appropriate for the Florida Secretary of State’s office to be snooping (or taking anonymous tips from a snooper) to determine her status as a voter?
The official Jemele spoke to said he will not be the one to determine whether he provisional will be accepted.
With Andrew Gillum’s vote deficit now down to 15,000 votes and the race possibly headed to a recount, I hope she follows up and reports on the journey her vote has taken.