A Republican voter in Broward wants to shut down a stretch of a major roadway on election day for an amateur road race because he is discouraged about his choices for president.
Aaron Nevins, a former aide to State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and son of political blogger Buddy Nevins, sent a letter to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Thursday seek to close part of U.S. 441 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 8 (hat tip Sun Sentinel).
“The major candidates aren’t very compelling -- I’d like to do something else that day,” said Nevins who said he won’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. “I’m the type of person who normally would be at the polls, go in and advocate usually for a Republican candidate. Right now I don’t think that’s exciting so I’d rather spend the day racing.”
While BSO didn't deny Nevins' request, the agency has sought so much additional information from Nevins that it appears it would be tough for him to pull it off.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes denounced the proposal to close part of the busy thoroughfare on election day.
“I will do everything I can to stop it,” she said.
Nevins wants to close a 1.5-mile portion of 441 north of State Road 84. The stretch is in unincorporated Broward and goes through part of Broward’s black community -- a key voting bloc for Democrats.
From Nevins’ press release:
"Today we mailed by certified letter a notification to Sheriff Israel of our intent to host this race, which is the right of any Floridian under the law,” said Aaron Nevins, president of Painted Dog Productions. “I look forward to working with Sheriff Israel pursuant to his duties under Florida Statute 549.02 to ensure the safety of our community as we shut down 441 and Davie Blvd. Extension for this race."
Florida Statute 549.01, enacted in 1905, gives all Floridians the right to notify the sheriff of their intent to host a race. sheriff allowed to charge $2 per deputy, per day to have deputies to assist us.
“Florida Law says it is our duty to notify the sheriff and we have fulfilled our requirements under the law to host this race.” said Nevins. "I look forward to working with the sheriff to take reasonable steps necessary to protect the public during this race."
The race will last from 7:00am to 7:00 PM on Election Day, November 8, 2016 and will likely result in the closure of Davie Blvd Extension, as well as 441 in both directions.
A BSO lawyer sent back a response to Nevins Friday afternoon seeking more than one dozen pieces of additional information including a diagram of the course, a list of participants, a crowd control plan and a copy of permits.
Nevins said that he chose 441 because it is in unincorporated Broward. A separate statute allows cities to regulate such races within their jurisdictions and it has more stringent criteria that Nevins said he couldn’t meet.
He denied that the road closure will block voters’ access.
“There is plenty of opportunities for people to vote,” said Nevins, who plans to vote by mail or at an early site. “My goal is to go out on election day and have a fun time. I don’t think this is going really block people.”
Painted Dog Productions is a company Nevins formed that hasn’t previously done anything. Nevins works as a political consultant for local races in the state.
For the record, he drives a black Honda CRV.