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Sham election in Florida? Phantom candidates block voters

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dozens of sham candidates are using a Florida election law loophole to deny roughly 1.6 million voters a chance to participate in upcoming legislative elections.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday that 35 candidates have filed as write-in candidates in state Senate and state House races across the state.

Florida law says that primary races are supposed to be open to all voters if there are only candidates from one party running. But if someone files as a write-in candidate the election is closed to independents and those voters registered to another party.

The newspaper found that one write-in candidate used to work for a Republican consulting firm that is managing campaigns in several legislative races. Other candidates filed as write-ins in races that were hundreds of miles from where they live.