New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line

I would like to see someone donate porta-potties, putting them right outside the polling places.

The Fifth Column

South Floridians stand in line during the last day of early voting in Miami, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. South Floridians stand in line during the last day of early voting in Miami, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. | CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ALAN DIAZ

I read this headline and my mouth dropped.  What the hell is wrong with the GOP?   I suppose in their mind, the current political climate makes an insane rule like this quite sane.

President Bill Clinton spoke on this very issue yesterday while touting the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act of 1964 at the LBJ Library in Austin Texas.

Clinton spent much of his speech addressing last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was also signed into law by Johnson. The ruling allows several states with a history of discriminatory voting laws, mostly in the south, to change election laws without federal approval.

“It sent a signal throughout the country,” Clinton said…

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Posted on 04/11/2014, in Potpourri, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. I wonder what kind of permits and fees would be needed for porta potties?

    It’s become insulting, the excuses they keep coming up with to make voting as hard as possible.


  2. Two sides to a story

    Pretty much unbelievable, but definitely a sign of the times. It seems many people on the far right don’t care how visibly corrupt they are any more.


    • Two sides,
      I agree. Do they not see that they are hindering ALL voters in the Miami-Dade area? Long lines are subject to hinder democrats as well as republicans.


  3. This represents a blatant attempt to SUPPRESS the minority vote!!


    According to the table that you can find on this Miami-Dade Wikipedia page:

    The 2012 Presidential election results for 2012 were 61.6% (540,776) for Democrat and only 37.9% (332,602) for Republican.,_Florida


  4. I hope they provide the option to vote by mail.


    • Hey Glenn! Absentee and mail vote are alternatives but — did Florida ever take care of that chad problem? 🙂


  5. It’s called voter suppression.. I’m sure in the high end neighborhoods the lines are short.


  6. This whole thing changed course after a result of an email. It went from asking a question about facilities in non-government buildings (ie, churches) to now becoming a voting issue. Boy that was a turn around.

    From what I could find out, polling places that are already at a government type of building wasn’t the issue as they already have to comply with the ADA and they have the ramps and larger restrooms for wheelchairs. The issue are the polling places that were in churches, mosques, temples and other religious sites that are exempt from provisions of the American Disabilities Act.

    Temporary ramps were brought in for wheelchairs at the county expense at some of these places but they had no control over the restrooms. The Center for Independent Living of South Florida wanted them to make changes by either changing the polling places or bringing in handicap porta-pots to accommodate those with handicaps in case they needed to use a restroom.

    Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley, who is registered non-partisan, is appointed and not elected. It appears that instead of looking into these exempted facilities she just chose to stop anyone from using a bathroom, in other words she took the way out that resulted in no action from her office. They said that it can’t be discrimination since they are banning everyone. Also from articles from 2012, she also didn’t have any solutions or promises to look into why anyone had to wait for up to 6-7 hours in line to vote.

    I think the longest I ever had to wait was about 15 minutes before a spot opened up, I can’t imagine waiting in line for 6-7 hours. But one of the things I do is have a pre marked ballot from the newspaper so I don’t spend extra time on reading the various issues also listed on a ballot. So I’m normally in and out in a matter of minutes. Seems to me one of the things that they could do to make the lines go quicker is to have a paper to hand out to those waiting that list the various issues (tax add ons, term limits, things everyone votes on) so that people could read them and be ready for it by the time they enter. But that’s just me.

    I can almost see a church fund raiser on voting days…….put out some porta-pots and charge the people wanting to use them. LOL.


  7. ” Fear of becoming a racial minority makes white Americans more conservative: study”

    Some good comments on Newsvine when the above article was posted there:

    Sistagirl replied:
    …this is why we are also seeing many of these older republican guvnors and legislators trying and succeeding in changing voting laws. There is no widespread voter fraud going on to justify all the changes being proposed. But they are hearing from those older, white republican voters and thanks to their “news” media scaring them stupid, these officials are playing into their fear. Holding on to power in the states is all what it is about as demographics are changing.

    And if those officials can keep the power thru disenfranchisement and voter suppression efforts, they will and it seems to be ok with their constituents. That’s why they are not speaking out and even acknowledging that voter suppression is happening. They know it is but they think it will benefit them in the end.

    dwillie commented:
    One cannot fear becoming a racial minority without acknowledging the injustices that racial minorities have dealt with and continue to face today. Clearly, cognitive dissonance and conservatism are kindred states of mind.

    Mindsweeper commented:
    I have said often that the new brand of conservatism and it’s inherent racism is founded in the fear of becoming a minority population themselves. And yes, the cognitive dissonance is profound, and the ways in which some choose to deal with such are as transparent as Saran wrap.


    • Yahtzee, I find the fear of being a minority concept interesting. It reminds me of the day after the presidential election, 2008. It was then that I heard conversations from some that they thought with a Black president, that Whites were going to be ordered into submissive roles, ala Jim Crow era in reverse. Or, to say it another way, that Blacks would be favored.

      That mindset is rooted in White Supremacist ideology that believes power is taken, given, and used, based on race.


      • Well, just think of the actions of Southern Whites after the Civil War as they faced being a minority and as they witnessed the newly enfranchised former slaves voting Blacks into Congress and into State offices. What did the Whites do? They challenged whether those Black office holders were actually born in the U.S. (just as some Whites today have challenged President Obama’s place of birth); they started arresting Blacks on trumped up charges; they created sundown laws that forbade Blacks to travel after dark (many were arrested on their return trips to deliver cotton),
        they arrested Blacks for loitering who were simply looking for work in a neighboring town. Then Whites used those arrest numbers to say that Blacks were not responsible and then took that declaration to say that meant Blacks were not capable of being responsible voters. Then, of course, there were also the KKK terrorists.

        What do we have today? When just as many White kids are using drugs, only inner cities or locations of a high population density of Blacks are targeted by LE for drug arrests…not the White suburbs or areas of high White population density. Many states then do not let these ex-felons, who have served their time, vote. They are disenfranchised. Our country is facing a serious problem with this school to prison pipeline.

        It took 100 years after the Civil War before our country had the 1965 Voting Rights Act to stop voter suppression of Blacks, and what did we all witness last June of 2013? The gutting of the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court!

        And now we are witnessing the continued efforts of places like Miami-Dade to suppress the vote.

        Our country is not post racial. Individual racism and institutional racism are still in place.


        • Yahtzee,
          What mankind fails to realize is the real trickle-down action. When any people are oppressed, others eventually get caught in the same net of laws and rules. For example, the voter ID laws may effect more minorities, but they also effect Whites. That reduces the number of voters for both parties. Now, which party cannot afford to lose voters? See what I mean?

          The “post-racial” debate was introduced after the election of Barack Obama, but few probably know all of the emails and social media that contained dog whistles during his campaign that indicated some people did not want him in office, not because of his policies, but because of the color of his skin. In 2012, those same emails began circulating again.

          I certainly agree that our country is not post racial. Whether minority or majority, people who promote racial divide have no influence because of their message. America knows the results of hatred and we also experienced how 8 years of Bush made many people “equal” financially, unemployed, lack of health care, house foreclosures, retirement scams.

          Racial prejudice that denies employment to minorities have not opened job opportunities for Whites because those companies never hired minorities anyway.

          We need more minority public defenders and criminal defense attorneys, but in order for that to happen, they need protection that no one within organizations will go out of their way to ruin their careers and reputations, neither call them “racist” because they advocate justly for clients. We need more minority law enforcement officers, but in order for that to happen, they need protection that they won’t end up with a gun in their face by a fellow officer who doesn’t want minorities to have those jobs.

          It’s time for Americans of all colors, genders, and ages over 18 to wake-up.


          • You are correct, Xena, as you write

            The “post-racial” debate was introduced after the election of Barack Obama, but few probably know all of the emails and social media that contained dog whistles during his campaign that indicated some people did not want him in office, not because of his policies, but because of the color of his skin.

            but I discovered some covert racists (I think) when they spoke to me:

            One person told me (trying to distance himself from his own feelings)– “I don’t think America is READY for a Black president.”

            Another person talked about a negative experience their spouse had with a Black person as Obama was being discussed.

            Still another talked about higher taxes if he were elected because of all the social programs he would probably push for.

            They all tried to sound politically correct as they spoke to me, but their real feelings were evident to me.


            • Yahtzee,

              Still another talked about higher taxes if he were elected because of all the social programs he would probably push for.

              I heard that argument many times and thought of it as stereotypical posturing. If they would take a good look at social programs, they will find that historically, they are operated and funded by states and not the federal government. Some states get money from the federal government for programs such as Section 8 housing, but even that program requires voucher recipients to have regular income and the funding goes to landlords and not voucher recipients.

              There were tax protests and the introduction of the Tea Party before Obama was sworn into office.


          • “Ohio Teacher Fired Over Comment on Black President”
            CINCINNATI April 18, 2014 (AP)


            An Ohio teacher has been fired after a black student who said he wanted to become president claimed the teacher told him the nation didn’t need another black commander in chief.

            The Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday night to fire science teacher Gil Voigt from Fairfield Freshman School, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer ( ).

            “The district felt that the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of Mr. Voigt’s employment,” Superintendent Paul Otten said in statement.

            Voigt did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.

            Voigt, who is white, told school officials that what he actually told the teen was that he doesn’t think the nation can afford another president like Barack Obama, “whether he’s black or white.”

            A state referee investigating Voigt found that explanation was not credible.

            The referee also found Voigt had made other offensive comments in class over the years, including an accusation that in 2008, he trained his laser pointer at a black student and said he looked like “an African-American Rudolph.”

            Voigt told school officials that he was only repeating what another student had said but later acknowledged his conduct had been inappropriate.

            In 2012, Voigt was accused of calling a student stupid and implying that he and some of his classmates were gay.

            In that incident, Voigt denied making any insulting comments to students and told school officials that a group of students in his class were colluding against him.

            The state referee found Voigt’s explanation for those two incidents to also be not credible.

            “Voigt repeatedly engaged in conduct that is harmful to the well-being of his students,” the state referee wrote in an April 11 report given to the board of education. “He has made race-based, culturally based and insulting comments to students over a period of years. He was warned on multiple occasions that if his behavior continued that he would be subject to termination. Unfortunately, for both Voigt and his students, he did not alter his conduct.”

            Voigt may appeal his firing to a Butler County court. The Ohio Department of Education will investigate to decide what to do about his teaching license.

            Voigt taught in Fairfield schools since 2000. He had been on unpaid leave since December following a parent’s complaint about the Obama remark.


        • /large


          • /large


          • A book on Blacks elected between 1865 and 1876:

            “Before Obama 2 volumes: A Reappraisal of Black Reconstruction Era Politicians”
            by Matthew Lynch

            Book Description: (2012) –“Between 1865 and 1876, about 2, 000 blacks held elective and appointive offices in the South, but these men faced astounding odds. They were belittled as corrupt and inadequate by their white political opponents, who used legislative trickery, libel, bribery, and brutal intimidation of their constituents to rob these black lawmakers of their base of support.

            Before Obama: A Reappraisal of Black Reconstruction-Era Politicians comprises two volumes that examine the leadership and contributions of black politicians during the Reconstruction eradiverse men whose efforts during Reconstruction should not be overlooked.

            Each biographical essay examines how each individual contributed to the Reconstruction Era and fostered the development of a parallel civil society within black communities, what influence his actions had on the future of blacks in politics, and why he has been ignored.

            This work also serves to set the record straight about these black politicians who are often scapegoated for the overall failure of the Reconstruction.”


  8. This is an article from April 10 that I just found:

    “For Miami-Dade County, a dispute over potty breaks for voters”

    A top elections administrator said voters can use bathrooms in polling places if they’re available, despite emails saying otherwise.


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