An Investigative Essay by John M Jones III (1/22/19)
Author Note: The following Essay is about what happened in Hillsborough County Florida November election, you may not live in this county, but I guarantee that similar events described below ARE happening in your county and chances are none of your elected officials really want you to know about it. You can easily find out whether the same is happening in your area but visiting the supervisor of elections website.
Since the November 2018 Election I have written several essays on exactly what happened regarding the two Hillsborough tax referendums that passed with only 282k & 276K votes respectively from the 857k registered county voters.
How the tale of THREE Voters Can Change Your Life!
An AVM Investigative Essay by John M Jones III (12/11/18)
Voting is one of the most important things we can do as American Citizens!
An AVM Investigative Essay by John M Jones III 11/7/2018
As a result, I have found that process for the way we vote for these Board of County Commission or citizen initiatives is broken and needs to be reformed. The essays above along with the following article give firm evidence as to the need to reform the Hillsborough County’s process for passing these initiatives. Before moving reading below it is important that you read the above essays to put the idea of “the Voter Quorum & Single-Issue Concept” into proper context.
What are The Voter Quorum & Single-Issue Charter Referendum & The Majority Voters Choice Referendums?
BALLOT TITLE: Voter Quorum & Single-Issue Charter Referendum
BALLOT SUMMARY: The County Charter would be revised to state and require that all BOCC and/or citizen initiatives must only contain a single defining issue and that instead of allowing 50%+1 of the votes cast to pass ALL measures MUST receive a total of "Yes" votes equal to 50%+1 of ALL duly registered county voters at the time of the election.
BALLOT TITLE: Majority Voters Choice Referendum
BALLOT SUMMARY: The County Charter would be revised to state and require that all elected offices under the authority of the county charter shall require for candidates to receive a total of "Yes" votes equal to 50%+1 of ALL duly registered county wide or district voters at the time of the election.
These are the specific changes needed to the county charter to create a Voter Quorum Law in Hillsborough County:
Voter Quorum & Single-Issue Charter Referendum
Article VIII. Section 8.01 can be revised to read, "The board of county commissioners may propose single-issue amendments to this Charter by ordinance approved by at least five (5) members."
Article VIII. Section 8.02 can be revised to read, " The charter review board shall, after two public hearings and upon approval of two thirds of its members, file any proposed single-issue amendments to the Charter, if any, with the supervisor of elections who shall provide for a vote on it pursuant to Section 8.04."
Article VIII. Section 8.03 can be revised to read, " The power to propose single-issue amendments to this Charter by initiative is vested in the people")
Article VIII. Section 8.03 Number 1 can be revised to read, "The power may be invoked by filing with the supervisor of elections a petition containing a copy of the proposed single-issue Charter amendment.
Article VIII. Section 8.04 can be revised to read, "Amendments shall become effective upon approval by a majority vote equal to 50%+1 of the electors registered at the next scheduled county wide election or special referendum election.
Majority Voters Choice Referendum
Article IV. Section 4.05 can be revised to read, "Each commissioner shall be elected by majority vote equal to 50%+1 of the electors residing in the district for which the commissioner qualifies." (1)
The VQL will: Ensure that the ALL politicians & lobbyists corrupt or not are held more accountable to a MAJORITY of the electorate!
The following is a breakdown of BOCC elections from 2018 to 2008.
-One BOCC candidate was elected with as little 23.2%, but on average winning candidates only received 34.6% or 3.5 votes out of every 10 registered voters in their Districts.
-(6) candidates won their office with LESS than 3 votes out of every 10 registered voters in their Districts.
-(16) candidates won their office with only 3 to 4 votes out of every 10 registered voters in their Districts.
-(3) candidates won their office with only 4 to 5 votes out of every 10 registered voters in their Districts.
-Since 2008 only TWO candidates actually received MORE 'yes" votes equal 50%+1 to voters in their districts, but they had run unopposed.
Argument Against: It will be harder to run for office because the candidates will need to get more votes!
Response: Getting a politician to go out and ask more people for their vote is not a bad thing. Politicians spend way too much money in TV, radio, print & internet ads (which does nothing but enrich the media). They need to get out find & meet the needs of their constituents, rather than spend their time on TV or radio!
Furthermore, since 2008-2018, (27) twenty-seven county candidates failed to even get 50%+1 a simple majority support from registered voters in their district. A politician CANNOT claim to represent their district without the support from a majority of its voters.
Argument Against: It’s the responsibility of voters to vote and if they don’t vote then to dam bad!
Response: There are many reasons why people may not vote, and these reasons can range from voter apathy or fatigue, or they just don't like the candidates, their lies or their negative ads, while some just don't care.
A Voter Quorum LAW would FORCE candidates to stop using attack ads & run on actual issues and policies rather than attacking their opponents. Political parties also would be forced to run BETTER more HONEST candidates. Since 1900 there have been almost 100 federal politicians or judges have been convicted of crimes and while in office. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White, was convicted by a jury of federal bribery and corruption charges in 2011, and was sentence to three years in Prison*
Although, most county commissioners are not like kevin white there is a perception that all politicians, in general, are morally bankrupt, liars, or cheats, which affects voter turnout. This perception is reinforced when candidates use attack ads rather than talk about the issues, when they call their opponent racists or sexist or nazis just to score minority votes. It is also reinforced when politicians make campaign promises to get elected and then suddenly 'forget' about them once they're in office!
The VQL will: Make ballot initiatives shorter, simpler, and majority passage will be seen as more of a mandate from the people.
The following is a breakdown of referendums on the ballot from 2018 to 2008.
-From 2008 to 2018 not even one referendum has obtained the support from a majority of county voters.
-(4) referendums failed to even get the support of 3 out of 10 registered voters.
-(5) referendums failed to even get the support of 4 out of 10 registered voters.
-Only (1) referendum even got close to reaching a majority support from registered voters with almost 5 votes out of 10.
Argument Against: It will be harder to pass amendments because they will need to get more votes!
Response: If there is no minimum voter quorum requirement for charter amendments or referendums, then theoretically the Hillsborough charter could be changed with nearly NO turnout. What if 1000 people voted and 600 voted yes? It’s still 50%+1! What if 500 people voted and 300 voted yes? It’s still 50%+1! What if 100 people voted and 60 voted yes? It’ still 50%+1! In Hillsborough county what if 1000 people voted and 501 voted yes? It’s still a majority? What if 100 people voted and 51 voted yes? It’s still a majority! What if three people voted and two of them voted yes? IT’S still a majority! Albeit extreme, I have proven that as few as TWO people out of three can change the law for 1.4 million Hillsborough county residents,
It’s been proven that small numbers of voters CAN change the laws for millions of people and that’s WRONG. A voter quorum law would not only put majority of the registered voters in charge, but it would also ensure unneeded, poorly written, or biased amendments & referendums would fail instead of easily passing with only a few votes.
Finally, if the quorum rule is good enough for the US Congress & Supreme Court, Florida government & Supreme court, Florida county & city government, and for American businesses then why is it not good enough for the voter initiatives??
Argument Against: It’s the responsibility of voters to vote and if they don’t vote then to dam bad!
Response: There are many reasons why people may not vote for amendments, and these reasons can range from they didn't know about them, voter confusion about the meaning, they don't like the amendment, or some just don't care.
A Voter Quorum LAW would FORCE proponents to stop using confusing language & archaic wording so that more people can understand them. Even the nytimes recognizes that many if not all proposed amendments have their meaning "hidden in a wall of words." Furthermore, they noted that as of 2012 less than 9 percent of jurisdictions notified the public of upcoming ballot measures. (5)
A Voter Quorum LAW would 'entice' ALL proponents of initiatives to simplify the wording& meaning, and fully inform & educate the voters if they want referendum to pass. If the amendment is worth passing the voters will pass it not matter how many votes it requires!
The VQL will: Protect America from those who wish to impose PC or mob rule, socialism or communism in our society!
All of the Following essays spotlight dishonesty & corruption of politicians & the media that Voter Quorum Laws would help mitigate. We must hold the sleazy politicians and their criminal media cohorts accountable for their actions!
The VQL Bottom Line!
1. All federal, state & local govs have a quorum requirement so that a minority of legislators can't pass the laws for the majority so why should voter amendments, initiatives or referendums be held to a different standard? The answer is they shouldn't!
Any law that is good and benefits the community shouldn't and wouldn't have a problem getting majority support from registered voters. It's the bad laws that hurt people & divide our community that need a voter quorum law because it would ensure that a few inept or corrupt politicians can't enact horrible laws or attempt to control us or our society! If the people feel the amendment is worth passing, then they will, no matter how many votes it actually takes!
State & local elected officials, lobbyists, and citizens who create initiatives are 100% aware of the bug in the system that could literally allow them to pass with as little as three votes and they just don’t care. They would rather take advantage of uninformed voters who don’t understand the consequences of their non-votes then educate them, rather than to inspire more voters to fulfill their civic duty so that our nation could truly be a country for the people by the people.
2. It might be inconvenient for candidates to need to get more votes to win, but not altogether impossible. Some states require a 50%+1 of yes votes 'cast' rule so they already recognize the importance of winning with a majority. So candidates might spend less time attacking their opponent with mudslinging or race-baiting and more time visiting the voters and explaining to them why they should be elected to office. It's not rocket science!
For incumbents they might consider fulfilling more of the campaign promises they espoused during their campaign or tenure. The people can only benefit from candidate & politicians being less negative & actually doing the things that promised.
If you support this, please add your name to the petition. Please Hillsborough County Residents Only