Candidates: Clerk In Florida Town Suppressed Black Voters

Source: AP / Tampa Bay Times

SOPCHOPPY — A small Panhandle town best known for its annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival is at the center of an investigation into charges the white city clerk suppressed the black vote in an election where the black mayor lost by a single vote and a black city commissioner was also ousted.

Both losing candidates and three black voters have filed complaints, now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, that City Clerk Jackie Lawhon made it more difficult for blacks to cast ballots by questioning their residency.

The candidates also allege Lawhon abandoned her duty to remain neutral and actively campaigned for the three whites on the ballot.

“If the allegations that we have are 100 percent accurate, then this election was literally stolen from us, and I really feel like there should be another election,” said Anginita Rosier, who lost her seat on the commission by 26 votes.

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