Fla Democrats cry foul over ‘unfair’ voter registration drives at local Chick-fil-A restaurants

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Some Florida Democrats have gotten their feathers ruffled over voter registration drives at Chick-fil-A restaurants.

Democrats in Pinellas County are not happy with the supervisor of elections’ decision to observe National Voter Registration Day this week by holding events at at nine area Chick-fil-A locations, Fox News reported.

In a letter to Elections Supervisor Deborah Clark, Susan McGrath, head of the county Democratic Executive Committee and leader of the Pinellas Stonewall Democrats, a pro-LGBT equality group, said the use of the restaurant is “unfair” and “partisan.”

“As an elected official, you have a duty to be evenhanded and fair,” McGrath wrote in the letter. “Surely, you and your office staff do understand that using Chick-Fil-A as the base for voter registration activities is not only inherently unfair but overtly partisan as well. This company has a strong and well-understood history of anti-LGBT activism and is publicly associated with Republican Party values.”

McGrath likened the decision to a Democratic supervisor deciding to hold a drive at a Planned Parenthood location.

“While some Democrats may occasionally dine at Chick-fil-A (and perhaps even members of the LGBT community), the coordination of Pinellas voter registration activities with this right-leaning business very clearly conveys that your office is targeting Republican-leaning voters,” McGrath wrote.

She urged the supervisor to reconsider holding future voter registration drives at Chick-fil-A restaurants. While the fast food chain’s CEO Dan Cathy has expressed his own personal opposition to same-sex marriage, the company itself does not promote policies that reflect this. But for some on the left, the restaurant’s culture of values that resonate with many Republican voters makes it a target.

A spokesman for Clark said the Elections office will be holding 350 voter drives at hundreds of locations this year. He made no statements regarding McGrath’s letter and allegations, but did note that Chick-fil-A restaurants get a lot of customers.

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Frieda Powers

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