Skip to content

Get Involved!

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here to see how to sign up.


Our committee is funded solely through donations. Click here to get more information.


Download a Florida Voter Registration. For English click here or for Spanish click here.


The committee wants to hear from you. Send us your comments and suggestions.


Click here to visit informative govern-ment, political and social websites.

Vox Populi, a Latin phrase that literally means voice of the people. Editorials on this website are written by committee members and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee as an organization.

At-Large elections for County Commission

An editorial

Buzzett, Meyer, Van Vleet……the list is long.  The list is the names of the young, Franklin County men and women that have answered the nation’s call to defend our freedom, our way of life and democracy.  The three listed servicemen did not return.  They paid the supreme price.  There are others. There will be more.  It is our heritage to protect our way of life whenever it is threatened.  Today, it is threatened, not from far away, but here at home.  The solution is not with bullets but at the ballot box.

The basic and most fundamental right of a citizen living in a democracy is the right to vote and to elect its officials.  Citizens of Franklin County are being denied that right.  The sad part is that public officials that should and could do something about this disgraceful situation will not act to correct it.

The governing body of Franklin County is the Board of County Commission.  The Board consists of five members, one from each of the county’s five Districts.  The Districts are required by Florida Statutes to be nearly equal in population as is possible.  Commission members are elected by all qualified electors of the county.  It has always been like this, that is until May 31, 1986, when a Federal judge directed otherwise.  The Federal judge ruled in favor of a group of African American citizens from Franklin County that alleged that they were being denied representation on the Board of County Commission as then apportioned.  The judge accepted an apportionment plan submitted by the African Americans.  The Federal judge then directed Franklin County to elect its Board members by voters residing within a single District.  The judge’s ruling did assure the election of an African American to the Board of County Commission.  The judge’s ruling denied the citizens of Franklin County the right to vote for all five members to the governing Board that governs all of the citizens of Franklin County.  Thus, a citizen’s vote was diluted from 100% to 20% in electing members to this ruling body.

The ruling by the Federal judge was received with little or no comment by the citizens of Franklin County.  Most agreed that if a jump start was needed to elect an African American, so be it. Early on, little change was noticed.  Major political issues remained the same, to control growth and protect our environment.  As the years passed, some would argue that commissioners were beginning to look more to Districts interest (and their own) rather than to the general public interest.  Budgets were increased.  Taxes were levied to meet budget requests.  The rumbling began.  Questions were being asked.  Were some Districts larger in population than others?  Were zoning requests treated equally?  A citizens group formed.  The County bows to pressure and in 2003 files a new apportionment plan with the Federal court in Tallahassee.  The court accepts the plan and additionally vacates its 1986 Order directing District voting for the election of county commissioners.  The county was now free to return to at-large elections.

The county commissioners did not to return to at-large elections.  The Board of Commissioners ignored the favorable Order of the court.   Once again, public pressure began to build to return Franklin County to at-large voting.  In 2006, the commission agreed to hold a straw vote to determine the will of the people in electing county commissioners.  Citizens responded with a 69% vote in favor of at-large voting and 31% against.  Once again, the county commission did not act and ignored the vote of its people.   The merry-go-round continued and once again a citizen representative appeared before the commission and requested the county commission to honor the vote of its citizens.  What happened next is beyond a Hollywood created fantasy.

The county attorney, except for advising the commission in 2003 that the federal injunction had been vacated, had been quiet on the issue of at-large voting.  He was silent and did not render an opinion when the commission discussed and voted to place on the 2006 general election ballot the question of at-large elections.  Now, after the citizens have voted and with the issue squarely before the commission, the county attorney rises to advise the commission that in his opinion the county was still subject to the injunction of the Federal court, an opinion in direct conflict with the written record of the court. One could speculate why the county attorney suddenly found his voice.  Many have.  There has been enough of that.  We will not.  Commissioner Lockley moved quickly to retain district voting, based on the opinion of the county attorney. Sanders seconded and the motion passed 4 to 1 with commissioner Crofton voting no.  Now you will not believe this but it is in the Minutes of the February 6, 2007, Minutes of the County Commission. Following the above vote, Commissioner Putnal, seconded by commissioner Sanders moved that “until an outside party can prove otherwise, single member districting and Commissioner’s Lockley’s motion will remain in place”.  The motion carried 5-0. Forget the 69% vote of the people. THE PUBLIC BE DAMNED.

The Franklin County Republican Committee will continue the fight to return democracy to Franklin County.  We will do it in the name and honor of our veterans, Buzzett, Meyer, Van Vleet and all that went before them and all that followed.  We will continue our effort until all qualified citizens of Franklin County can vote for or against public officials that can levy taxes and spend the public’s money.  The quickest solution is at the ballot box.  Commissioners Lockley, Putnal and Crofton are up for election in 2008.  THEY DID NOT HONOR YOUR VOTE.  WHY SHOULD THEY GET YOURS?


Before the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee

WHEREAS the citizens of Franklin County, Florida, support representative government; and

WHEREAS the citizens of Franklin County, Florida, are being denied representative government in the election of county commissioners; and

WHEREAS the citizens of Franklin County, Florida, did by their vote of 69% favor countywide voting for the election of county commissioners, and

WHEREAS the current members of the Franklin County Board of County Commission continue to deny the citizens of Franklin County the right to elect it county commissioners by countywide vote; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee in special session held on July 11, 2008, do by these presents urge Franklin County citizens to deny and withhold their vote for Commissioners Crofton, Putnal, Lockley, Parrish and Sanders until such time as they honor the vote of Franklin County citizens for countywide elections.

Agreed to and adopted this 11th day of July, 2008.

Willie Norred, Chairman
Franklin County Republican Committee

Attest:  Rita O’Connell, Secretary

Paid for by the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

Design and Hosting by 2k Web Group