New Yorkers Talk About Integrity in Florida Midterm Elections

November 18, 2018 Updated: December 4, 2018

The midterm elections in Florida have received national attention because of recounts and accusations of fraudulent activity. The Epoch Times asked people in New York if voter integrity in Florida was a concern for them. Here’s what they had to say:

Melania Calderon in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Melania Calderon, 22, student, from Costa Rica

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Ms. Calderon: Integrity? Yes, I do believe in this. I haven’t been here long, but I’ve read the news. I think that’s smart, especially because now the government is divided so no party can have too much power. I think that’s really great for democracy, but I also think it limits how much either party can do. It’s also a little bit rough for passing legislation.

The Epoch Times: How about the Florida elections and the fraud accusations?

Ms. Calderon: That is something that should concern everybody, they’re accusing each other without any real background so I think that harms democracy. If you’re saying you committed fraud because of this and this and this, then yes, of course. But if you don’t have any proof, and you’re just saying this because you didn’t win, that’s not what democracy is about.

Tim Gemperline in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Tim Gemperline, 31, architect

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Mr. Gemperline: It should concern everyone, but whether it’s happening or not is the question; I don’t think overall it is happening a lot. If there was evidence of that happening, then yes, people should be concerned.

It’s like when you see in the newspaper that there’s a homicide. Yes, there’s concern about that, but is it a trend? Is it something that’s widespread? So, it’s getting a perspective on it, too.

The Epoch Times: Do you think there should be more transparency in voting?

Mr. Gemperline: Yes, if you’re calling for a democracy and think that’s the idea of democracy—transparency—you can see every pixel and how that forms a larger picture.

Ryan Jonhson in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Ryan Johnson, 36, music licenser

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Mr. Johnson: I think the democratic process concerns me the most, so I guess, yes.

The Epoch Times: In what way?

Mr. Johnson: Making sure that people who are able to vote have an equal opportunity to do so, making sure the votes are cast, and every vote is counted properly.

The Epoch Times: There seems to have been a process of each party accusing the other of voter fraud.

Mr. Johnson: It’s usually like that, no matter the party, when you’re on the losing end. We saw the same thing in 2000, the Democratic Party, we’re seeing the same thing now with the Republican Party, it’s important that we understand that democracy has no favorites. If it goes to a run-off, then you go through the necessary steps to make sure that everyone is accounted for in the democratic process.

Carlos Rodriguez in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Carlos Rodriguez, 54, dog walker

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Mr. Rodriguez: It does concern me because it always happens in Florida, I remember when Al Gore lost the presidency because of Florida and I don’t know what’s really happening in Florida. I don’t really understand. Most people think it’s a very backward country but definitely, there is a lot of voter suppression in Florida, There are so many things that are happening and have been happening for a while. I don’t how they haven’t fixed that problem, but I’ve been following the news and I’ve seen all the boxes of ballots that they find in schools and in other places and they didn’t count them, you know. So it’s definitely something to be concerned about because that is not democracy.

If you’re oppressing voters from getting their vote counted, then we’re not living in a true democracy.

Fred Leal in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Fred Leal, 63, lawyer, from Canada

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Mr. Leal: I thought the television show about broadcast news [“The Newsroom”] with Jeff Daniels, where they talk about voter fraud with the actual numbers with proven voter fraud are minute, they’re truly minute. I don’t believe that voter fraud is a real issue, because it always comes up in a partisan way. Someone’s always using it in an argument, and no one ever really seems to say we have this piece of documentation or this evidence which establishes voter fraud. It’s just thrown around as a term. I think the better thing to do is to think that they’re not being honest if they’re not showing proof. So I think the allegations are fake.

Steven Abram in Madison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Steven Abram, 64, IT consultant

The Epoch Times: Are you concerned about voter integrity in the Florida elections?

Mr. Abram: It depends on what you mean, I think there’s voting incompetence in terms of processing the votes, the board of elections.

The Epoch Times: There have been stories in Florida concerning voter fraud …

Mr. Abram:  I think, for the most part, the people that are bringing that up have been the ones that have been caught doing it. I don’t think voter fraud is a rampant problem.

The Epoch Times: You mentioned about voting incompetence, is that something that concerns you?

Mr. Abram: Yes. I think using New York as an example, using a lot of volunteers, there should be a little bit more of a professional process. This is the 21st century, whereas you could apply technology to something that also does have its risks in terms of security. With that said, it just seems that the voting process should be better, especially in New York state. It would be great to be able to vote early, that would alleviate some of those problems.

Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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