U.S. Reps. Frankel, Deutch on mosque polling site: Don’t discriminate LOCAL GOVT & POLITICS


Source: The Palm Beach Post

By Eliot Kleinberg

Boca Raton’s two U.S. representatives Tuesday appeared to support the use of a mosque as a polling place in the Aug. 30 election.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher last week switched the voting site for Precinct 4170 from the Islamic Center of Boca Raton to Boca Raton’s Spanish River Library, Bassem Alhalabi, the mosque’s president, told The Palm Beach Post on Monday.

He said Bucher told him she was moving the site because she had received about 50 complaints, some threatening, about the voting site being set at the mosque earlier this year.

On Tuesday, a Tampa-based group that campaigns against Islamic-American relations urged people to support Bucher’s decision, while Democratic U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, of West Palm Beach, and Ted Deutch, of Boca Raton, released statements opposing discrimination against any religion.

“The right to religious freedom and the right to vote are both fundamental to our democracy,” Frankel, in whose district the mosque lies, said late Tuesday in a statement. “All polling places should be safe, without discrimination against any religion.”

Deutch said, “If we are going to use places of worship as polling places, we should not discriminate. When Donald Trump advocates a religious ban on Muslims, there is a dangerous impact on communities throughout this country.”

Staff for the two politicians did not respond late Tuesday to requests that they elaborate on the statements.

Meanwhile, the Florida Family Association called on people to thank Bucher for pulling out of the deal to use the mosque.

“Click here to send your email to thank (Bucher),” said a release from the group, whose slogan is “defending American values.”

The group said it was responding to “pressure” being put on Bucher by the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR on Monday had raised the possibility of legal action if Bucher didn’t change her mind.

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