U.S. District Court Will Rule in Florida Open Primary Case on July 24 or July 25

On July 23, U.S. District Court Judge William Zloch of Florida heard arguments in LaCasa and Mazzilli v Townsley, 12-cv-22432, southern district. This is the case filed by some Florida voters who aren’t Democrats but who want to vote in the Democratic primary for Miami-Dade State Attorney, a partisan race. They argue that they should be allowed to vote in the Democratic primary because the only candidates who filed to have their names on any primary or general election ballot are two Democrats. They argue that they won’t have had any voice in the selection unless they can vote in the Democratic primary for that office.

Florida law would let non-Democrats vote in that primary, if indeed there were only Democrats running. But there are two write-in candidates running in November for that office, so the open primary law doesn’t apply to this race (the law only applies when the only candidates, of any kind, are from the same party; one of the write-ins is a Republican). The voters argue that the write-in candidates have no real campaign, and that they probably only filed in order to keep this particular primary closed. Judge Zloch asked the attorney for the voters if write-in candidates can theoretically win, and the reluctant response was that, yes, in theory write-in candidates can win. The judge said he would rule on July 24, or early on July 25.


  1. Demo Rep · · Reply

    What happened in that write in stuff in frozen Alaska for U.S.A. Senate ??? Think M — even with lots of mis-spellings.

    How many write-in candidates have won since 4 July 1776 in any State/DC ???

    ONLY the BAN archives know for sure ???

  2. Jim Riley · · Reply

    The district court dismissed the case.

    The plaintiff’s had argued that under the 1st Amendment they had a right to vote in a partisan primary that de facto determined the general election (essentially they were claiming that they had to right to engage in political association with the Democrats, because they would not an opportunity to do so as part of the general electorate in November).

    Once that claim was dismissed, there was no reason for the federal court to interpret the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes.

    Florida should adopt the Top 2 Open Primary which ensures that all voters may vote in all stages of the electoral process.

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