Early Voting May Change in Florida

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - In 2008, long early voting lines from one end of Florida to the other caused then Governor Charlie Crist to keep polls open not eight, but twelve hours a day. In making the announcement, Crist said “Early voting sites will be open from 7am to 7pm.”

More than half of the votes cast in '08 were cast early or by absentee. Current law allows local supervisors to set the days, locations, and times of early voting over a two week period. But pending legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley would cut early voting down to just 6 days before an election.

The intention, really, is less days with more complete hours, and I think that’s the direction we’ll see this move”, says Baxley.

The bill also says students could no longer change their address from one county to another on election day.Under the proposed changes, neither the media, party activists, or a candidate could talk to any voter in line, anywhere.

And groups like the League of Women Voters would have to turn in any voter registrations they collect within 48 hours. Voting advocate Brad Ashwell from the Florida Public Interest Research group say the bill say it is a solution in search of a problem.

“This bill would lead a lot of third party voter registration groups to just not operate in this state. It creates a timeline that’s just unworkable” says Ashwell.

Shortening the amount of time for early voting is opposed by most elections supervisors. The legislation also creates a Presidential Preference Primary Commission to work with other states in setting an early date for a Presidential Preference Primary that will not cost the state delegates at a national convention.


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  • by Paul on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:17 AM
    Many changes to limit Democratic Voting. Early Voting Changes. Funding for already weak Unions attacked. Attempts to challange drdistricting laws An aside is the changes to the supreme court. These people have no shame. They are reshaping Florida to insure there remains a one party system. Are they trying to turn Florida into a third world banana republic ?
  • by Uncle Sam on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:14 AM
    Don't worry - the Republicans will still have plenty of time and money to buy their votes ...
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2011 at 05:37 AM
    Whats wrong with just six days?? it only takes one day to go vote and you can always vote by absentee. Just call and have the ballot mailed to you. We should not be paying tax dollars to keep early voting open for 2 weeks. If you are so inmature as to not be able to go vote on 6 days, you should not be voting in the first place. And as far as trying to keep working people from voting, you have the right by law to be allowed to go vote. Stop crying, you still have the one general voting day as well, so you acutally will have not 6 days, but 7.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2011 at 05:28 AM
    Amen LocalBoy, just what I was thinking myself!
  • by LocalBoy Location: Tally on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:22 PM
    What are you malcontents whining about? It was the GOP that passed early voting to start with. Six days of early voting is plenty of time for the people to get to the polls. 14 days of voting simply costs too much. And by definition, if you can vote, you are a grown up, so plan ahead and vote by mail if you even think that you can't get to the polls during the six days. What a bunch of cry-babies. Geez.
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:17 PM
    “This bill would lead a lot of third party voter registration groups to just not operate in this state. It creates a timeline that’s just unworkable” says Ashwell. Does she mean like ACORN? If so then let's hope it passes, before the dead start voting again!
  • by This Lady Location: Tally on Apr 19, 2011 at 06:14 PM
    I hope this madness stops before this crew disenfranchises every person in Florida that is a part of the working class. It is quite obvious that the only goal of this legislation is to prevent as many working people from makingit to the polls as possible. They ran for these offices by spouting out rhetoric about debt and increasing jobs, but it seems to me that was thrown out the window as soon as they ALL arrived in Tallahassee and were sworn in. So far, I haven't seen jobs increase, but decrease. And how are our state legislators responsibly utilizing our dollars when the majority of the legislation they have spent time on has nothing to do with jobs or fiscal responsibility, but rather preventing access women's health services, preventing people from voting, cutting jobs, cutting funding for agencies. I havent' once heard one of them sponsor a bill about corporations paying taxes or local companies hiring from within the state to create jobs. SMDH!!!
  • by Bubba on Apr 19, 2011 at 04:39 PM
    Fascist politicians at work. They have stolen everything else that we the people have to give, and now they have come for our votes.
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