By Jane Lane
The League of Women Voters continues the Moore’s work of empowering citizens to register to vote and to make informed decisions at the polls.
We enjoyed a lunch of regional foods and heard a presentation by Lauralee Thompson, Dixie Crossroads Manager and a long time environmentalist. Laura shared her experiences of growing up on the Indian River Lagoon. In 1991, The Lagoon was designated as an Estuary of National Significance. Laura reminded us that the River needs everyone’s help. The river that she enjoyed in childhood is now suffering fish kills as a result of storm water discharges and the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides. She did tell us that some environmental interventions are working. The once threatened oysters are coming back and are now available in area markets.
In a Refuge van driven by a volunteer biologist, we discovered manatees, white pelicans, Great Southern Butterflies, white herons, and alligators. We identified Spanish needle, coral beans, Caroline willow, slash pines, cat tails, and southern red cedar.
Members from Volusia, Brevard, Seminole, and Orange Co Leagues as well as the Florida League’s Executive Director Jessica Lowe Minor enjoyed this special day of history, voting rights, nature, and food. All of us agreed that we can’t wait for the Florida League and me to schedule another adventure.Charley Williams, LWVFl Voters Service Chairman brought us up to date on election information:
June 4-8 – qualifying dates for candidates
July 16 – registration deadline for August 14 Primary Election
August 14 – primary election: This will be the first Florida election following the Fair District redistricting lines. Turnout for Florida’s primary is traditionally low (18-22%). With low turnout, any vote carries more weight simply because others don’t show up at the polls.
The League is involved in two separate lawsuits working their way through the courts. We are hopeful that the courts will issue an injunction allowing the League to begin registering voters again without the 48-hour penalty provision. Due to onerous legislation, the League stopped registering voters in Florida in March, 2011.