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(Photo) Libertarian in local public office architect Bill Sachs successfully testifies on abuses in restoring voting rights that led to legal changes as part of coalition effort.
Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, November 2006--The myth is Libertarians can't form coalitions. The truth is that's how they get a lot done: Change your paradigm.
A Florida coalition of Libertarians, Democrats, Greens, prominent Republicans and many community groups continues to drive ballot improvement legislation in Florida and the US, say supporters.
The Election Reform Coalition of Pinellas started in Florida in a conversation between Democratic and Libertarian leaders after the Libertarians and LIO activists began holding community fora on election improvements, and is a bellweather nationwide, according to the ACLU. Members exposed problem electoral machines and documented numerous needed improvements.
LIO is viewing the project as a 'trans-partisan' model that local groups seeking to build coalitions can use. Coalition partners joined forces after the 2004 electoral problems to hold public hearings, agree on a series of short to long term improvements, and build rapport. Libertarians advocate reforms including traceable voting, proportional representation, and lowered ballot requirements. Libertarians participating in the coalition brought considereable skills, having helped lead a fight that turned Florida from having the most restrictive to highly open ballot access laws via a popular initiative, called by the US LP "The Libertarian success story of the 1990's." So far, the coalition has opened up voting inspection, got community groups involved as poll watchers, removed impediments to the voting rights of rehabilitated criminals, established a hot line, moved Florida toward paper ballots and improved procedures, says the League of Women Voters, and is leading the charge towards redistricting against stiff opposition.. Advised by LIO mentors, check out their report, latest wins-- RESOURCE: www.ERCPinellas.org