Waiting to Vote?

Monday (October 5, 2015) is the registration deadline for the Special Referendum Election in St. Johns County regarding the one-half cent sales surtax for new school facilities and safety, security and technology upgrades.  Maybe you are waiting to vote until the Primary or the General Elections.  Some US citizens have waited longer than others to go to the polls. Under the original US Constitution, the voter registration included everybody…minus women, blacks, Catholics, and white men who did not have substantial property.  To learn more about modern voters’ registration or to make changes to your registration, go to www.votesjc.com.   Read More

Importance of Jury Duty

Jury duty is not always glamorous, but it is an important part of our Justice System, both for the legal process and for the people affected by it. Jury Duty is an opportunity for the Judicial Branch to showcase legal procedure to the public.  It is live, reality courtroom drama, and if you are selected to sit on a jury, then you have a reserved seat up front for the trial. Furthermore, jury duty also lets you help decide the fate of people in your community.  The Sixth Amendment gives us the right to trial by jury, and your voter’s registration puts you on the list of potential jurors.  Registration requirements include:  US citizenship, at least 18 years old, Florida driver’s license or state identification, and a resident of Florida in the respective county. As the Florida Bar points out regarding jury duty:  “Attendance is essential to the fair administration of justice.” If you are not a registered voter in Florida, please visit the Florida Division of Elections at http://doe.dos.state.fl.us/voter-registration/index.shtml, where you can register to vote, check the status of your registration, and learn more about voter registration in Florida.   Read More

Remember to Vote

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” – Aesop Today is Election Day—remember to vote!  As a registered voter, you can make a difference in the legislative branch of government on Election Day…and you can make a difference in the judicial branch by sitting on a jury for your peers. Most people would rather be fishing than to be in court, especially facing legal action against them—that is when they need their peers.  A registered voter can change the outcome of a trial. While a voters’ registration is great for participating in political elections, it is also vital for the fair administration of justice. Read More

General Election Deadline to Register

October 6, 2014 is the deadline to register to vote in the General Election (November 4).  To check your voter’s registration status in St. Johns County, go to the Supervisor of Elections website at  http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voter-registration/index.shtml. Of course if you are a registered voter, that also means you could be called for jury duty.  There could be worse positions, like being a defendant facing legal action and in need of peers.  As a registered voter, you can change the outcome of a trial and help decide the fate of people in your community. Read More

Your Vote Counts Beyond Election Season

Did you miss the Primary?  About 85% of St. Johns County’s registered voters did.  They may not have cast their ballot on Election Day, but they are still signed up to serve on a jury. Most people would rather be fishing than to be in court, especially if facing legal action against them—that is when they need their peers.  As a registered voter, you can change the outcome of a trial and help decide the fate of people in your community. It is not too late to vote in the General Election later this fall, but you need to have your registration completed by October 6, 2014.  For more information and to register to vote in St. Johns County, go to http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voter-registration/index.shtml. Read More

Law Day – May 1

Law Day is an annual event, officially started in 1961 to mark a commitment to the rule of law in our nation.   This year’s theme is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law:  Why Every Vote Matters” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act this year, and next year’s golden anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  While a voters’ registration is great for participating in political elections, it is also vital for the fair administration of justice. A voters’ registration is not just good for election season, it also lets you help decide the fate of people in your community.  As a registered voter, you can make a difference in the legislative branch of government at the local, state, and national levels, and you can make a difference in the judicial branch by sitting on a jury for your peers.  A registered voter can change the outcome of a trial, but your jury vote does not count if you are not there to cast it. Most people would rather be fishing than to be in court, especially facing legal action against them—that is when they need their peers.  You have the power to help uphold the […] Read More

Jury Box Seats

The new seats in the August Wilson Theatre in New York City are ergonomically designed to inspire alertness.  Made with foam-based technology, these seats are supposed to reduce fidgeting, increase concentration, and lower noise, according to their manufacturer, NuBax.    With automotive, aviation, and hospitality industry customers, these chairs have not yet been seated in the jury box. Voters’ registration is good for more than just Election Day; it is your ticket to the jury pool.  If you get selected, you get a box seat for a courtroom drama…and you have a say in the outcome.  You may not enjoy the benefits of NuBax seating, but you will contribute to the fair administration of justice. Read More

The Vote Is In Your Court – Judicial Elections

Your voter’s registration is good for more than just jury duty.  It enables you to help determine who sits on the bench.  There are fifteen Appeals Court Judges and three Florida Supreme Court Justices coming up for merit retention…where the vote is in your court. Appeals Court Judges get into office via gubernatorial appointment; however, they have to go through periodic merit retention with the voters to remain on the bench.  Four Appeals Court Judges are on the 2012 ballot in the First District Court of Appeals, which covers Duval, Nassau, and Clay Counties. There are no Appeals Court Judges from the Fifth District Court of Appeals (DCA) due for merit retention.  That means St. Johns, Flagler, and Putnam Counties (among others) only have to be concerned with the three Florida Supreme Court Justices due for statewide majority appeal or rejection. So who are these judicial merit people on the ballot?  It is illegal for a political party or partisan political organization to endorse, support or assist any candidate in a campaign for election to judicial office; however, the Florida Bar has a campaign to educate Florida voters.  Go to www.FloridaBar.org/TheVotesInYourCourt for candidate profiles and to find out more about […] Read More