“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” — West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943) (Robert H. Jackson, J.).
I’ll tell you what you can talk about in school — DeSantis to expand ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all grades.
Justice Robert Jackson
A man in Daytona Beach, Florida heard someone at his front door and thought it was a visitor for his son. Unfortunately when he opened the door to welcome the guest, it turned out to be a nearly 8-foot long alligator.
“The alligator lunged and he was bitten in the upper thigh,” said Daytona Beach police spokesman Carrie McCallister.
Source: boingboing, Man opens front door only to be bitten by huge alligator
Now’s about when you would expect serious candidates for 2024 Senate election to let it be known they have an interest. For legal reasons, it often makes sense to delay a formal declaration until much later, but you would expect to see subtle online campaigns, maybe an exploratory committee or three. Yet on the Democratic side it seems awfully quiet.
Although far from great, the general political picture is more mixed than it might seem:
That last point is in my mind the key: I can’t think of any Democrats with a statewide profile who’d be a plausible candidate. Val Demings lost to Rubio, and I’ve seen no sign she wants another Senate race. That means the best Democratic candidate will be someone with a strong local base. I don’t follow local politics outside South Florida to even have an idea what the field is–which is a sign of the problem.
I went to vote at my local polling place at around 2pm. It was not deserted, but it was nearly empty. As I entered, a lady gave me a form, and asked me to hand it to the poll workers. It showed my time of arrival, and had a blank for when I got to the voter table — which proved to be about 60 seconds later.
I explained my story to the nice lady at the table. She scanned my driver’s license and looked me up in her system. “It’s here!” she said. I thought that meant my vote had miraculously arrived in the 45 minutes between when I last checked and when I turned up. But, no, turned out it meant that it showed they had sent it to me. But, as I explained, although I had returned it, it still was not received. And the system confirmed that too.
At that, they printed out a new ballot receipt for me, handed me the flimsy paper and a large ballot, and off I went to vote it.
I was in and out in under ten minutes, including parking.
The only slightly odd thing about the experience is that every other time I’ve voted, outside the polling place there has been a forest of signs for the various candidates, and multiple often competing campaign workers offering leaflets for their candidates.
This time, there were zero signs and zero people.
Maybe they were all off phoning and texting people: I got three calls and four texts reminding me to vote or asking me to vote for a candidate between 9am and 2pm today. So maybe it’s virtual campaigning now? Probably beats standing in the sun…
As of this morning, the Elections Dept. still has not received my ballot.
I was glad therefore to find instructions as to what I should do in the Miami-Dade Voter Information Guide/FAQ. At page 11 is says:
Surrendered at the Polls on Election Day – A voter who prefers to vote in person may surrender a voted or un-voted mail ballot to the voter’s precinct on Election Day. The returned ballot will be marked “canceled” by the election board. A voter who desires to vote in person, but does not return the ballot to the precinct, may vote only under the following conditions:
• The election board confirms the voter’s mail ballot has not been received.
• If the election board cannot determine whether the voter’s mail ballot has been received, the voter may vote a provisional ballot.
Voters cannot vote by submitting their Vote by Mail ballot at their precinct. It must be surrendered.
That seems clear enough: if by tomorrow they don’t have it, go to my polling place, and they will either let me vote, or give me a provisional ballot.
But I’m never going to vote by mail again if I can avoid it–I’m dumping that ballot in a drop box.
This Friday I’m scheduled to be interviewed on a political discussion program hosted on the U.M. campus station, WVUM 90.5 FM. The interview/discussion is part of a special one-off revival edition of The Monkey House which is part of Homecoming:
The Monkey House is a variety political radio talk show that originally aired from 2017 to 2019 on WVUM 90.5 FM, the University of Miami’s flagship radio station. The show was hosted by UM students Israel Aragon Bravo and Andre Rivero-Guevara, who frequently engaged in down-to-earth conversations on current events with friends, professors, campus leaders, politicians, artists, and other members of the UM/Miami community. Inspired by a DIY ethos, Israel and Andy were known for approaching discussions with candor, an air of levity, and a strong desire to connect with their listeners.
On Friday, Nov 4th, Israel and Andy will be making their one-off comeback ahead of the 2022 Midterms as part of WVUM’s annual Alumni Week events. In this episode, they will be discussing the state of U.S. democracy and some of the most important issues going into next week’s elections.
Joining them in this special discussion is University of Miami professor of law Michael Froomkin, who teaches Administrative Law, AI/Robot Law, and Jurisprudence, and is also known for his coverage of politics and local election recommendations on his personal blog on discourse.net. They will be discussing the ongoing threats to U.S. democracy and the ways it could be improved, as well his paper “Fixing the Senate.”
The show will broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM this Friday, Nov 4th at 5 pm. The show can also be caught live on the web at wvum.org.
I’m told that my segment should start at 5:30pm.