Election Bill On a Roll

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Early voting would shrink to 8 days but last 12 hours a day. The 50 thousand people who changed their address on election day 2010 would be out of luck and likely out of having their vote counted. They could only vote by provisional ballot. And people who register voters would have just 48 hours to turn in those registrations or face a fine.

Seegar Swanson came to the capitol from Santa Rosa County, where Democrats are outnumbered 60-40, to protest the changes. Seegar says he’ll stop registering voters if the legislation takes effect.

“If you’re registering voters at the county fair or something, you’ve only got 48 hours, that means everyday you have to run to the supervisor of elections office and turn in the ones you got the day before,” Seegar Swanson said.

Seegar isn’t alone in his concerns. Top-ranking democrats, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who is a GOP target in 2012, called the bill un-American.

“This a personal attack on the people of Florida,” Nelson said.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the bill’s author is the former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

Reporter: Is there a perception here that, if nothing else, you’re trying to set this up for 2012?

“If there’s a perception that’s in the eyes of the beholder. I’m not trying to set anything up,” Sen. John Thrasher (R-Jacksonville) said. “I’m just trying to encourage people to get out and vote in 2012.”

Governor Rick Scott has said only that all people should vote. But he is expected to sign whatever he is sent.

But even with Scott’s expected signature, lawsuits challenging the changes are expected.

More than 85 hundred letters and emails have been sent to lawmakers protesting the elections legislation. Lawmakers had initially tried to cut early voting in half, but protests caused them to shorten the number of days but keep the number of early voting hours the same

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