Florida election officials neglect to catch out-of-state voter

How is it that a Maryland businesswoman and politician was allowed to register and vote in Pinellas County?

Wendy Rosen, the Democratic candidate for Maryland’s First Congressional District, dropped out of her race against Republican Andy Harris after it was disclosed that she voted in both Maryland and Florida from 2006 to 2008, according to a report Monday in The Baltimore Sun.

“We believe that this is a clear violation of Maryland law and urge the appropriate office to conduct a full investigation,” Maryland Democratic Chairwoman Yvette Lewis told the Sun. “The Maryland Democratic Party strongly believes in upholding and expanding the right to vote but, at the same time, believes there should be zero tolerance for voter fraud of any kind.”

Maryland GOP leaders look upon the incident as proof positive that voter fraud does exist, and they called upon the Democratic Party to join them in enacting election reform measures.

The larger issue, which should be of concern to all Floridians, is this: Why did Maryland catch the discrepancy and not Florida? Maryland is Rosen’s permanent state of residence — not Florida. There was no reason for any red flags to have been raised by her voting in Maryland. It’s where she works, pays her taxes and is presumably licensed to drive. On the other hand, the place she maintained in St. Petersburg was strictly a part-time vacation home. In a perfect world, her appearance at the polls there should have raised all sorts of alarms. But they didn’t.

I also find significant the fact that 2008 was the last time Rosen cast a vote in the Sunshine State. Florida has since enacted a pesky voter photo-ID law, so maybe Rosen was afraid the Pinellas County election officials wouldn’t accept her Maryland driver’s license.

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reports that voter fraud claims are vastly exaggerated, perhaps he should open his eyes — and look to the practices within his own party.

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