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More Ballots Found In Broward Without Medical Marijuana Amendment

Peter Haden
Attorney Norm Kent (right), who represents NORML of Florida, listens to opening statements from attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks, who represents the Broward Supervisor of Elections, at the Broward County Judicial Complex on Oct. 25, 2016.

Two more Broward voters realized Tuesday that their absentee ballots lacked the medical marijuana question, according to the Miami Herald.

This came just hours after a Broward County judge said she would rule quickly on a case involving ballots missing Amendment 2.

Two Oakland Park voters received ballots last week that did not have the question pertaining to Amendment 2, which would legalize marijuana statewide for medical use. The Broward Supervisor of Elections said they were “test-ballots” sent out accidentally.

NORML of Florida, a group that supports reforming marijuana laws, filed a new emergency motion Tuesday night asking the court to hold a rehearing in its lawsuit against Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, according to The Herald.

Attorneys representing NORML said Tuesday evening that they had heard from two additional voters — Johnny Alexander and Cary Gandolfi, both from Plantation — who had received absentee ballots that lacked the amendment, the Herald reported Tuesday. This discovery came to light after an emergency hearing held Tuesday morning.

After the initial discovery, proponents of the amendment filed a lawsuit. An emergency hearing was held Tuesday morning.

“We are not prepared to sacrifice a single vote, or a single ballot, in a straight up yes-or-no election.” said Attorney Norm Kent, who represents NORML of Florida.  

But Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes say she’s corrected the problem and no judicial oversight is necessary.

“There is no showing in this case that there is irreparable harm.” said Attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks, who represents the county.
“We have two people that we know have been affected. Those people have gotten replacement ballots.”

Because the amendment would change the state constitution, it requires a supermajority of votes - 60 percent - to pass.

A similar Amendment in 2014 got more than 57 percent and failed.

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