Florida mosque removed as polling site after anti-Islamic backlash

  • 14 July 2016

The mosque was uninvited after local election officials received complaints and threats

A Florida mosque has been removed as a polling station for the 2016 election after local officials received complaints and threats of violence.

The Islamic Center of Boca Raton had planned to host a polling site for the state's primary in August and the general election in November.

Officials rescinded the invite, drawing sharp criticism from Florida lawmakers who said it reinforced religious discrimination.

The site was moved to a nearby library.

County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said she moved the site after receiving about 50 complaints from people who said they did not want to vote in a mosque.

The Islamic Center has been used as a polling station at least since 2010, the Washington Post reported.

Democratic US Representatives Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel released statements opposing the move.

"If we are going to use places of worship as polling places, we should not discriminate,'' Mr Deutch said.

It is unclear how many houses of worship are used as polling places across the country, but churches are often selected as host sites because of their large auditoriums and parking lots.

Mosques in California, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio have served as polling places, including one that has been used since at least 2004, according to the AP news agency.