Senate Dem Leader Nan Rich denounces GOP's elections bill

By on May 2, 2011

Joined by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, and organizations dedicated to maintaining voting integrity, Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich (D-Weston) on Monday called on Senate Republicans to reject threatened changes to Florida? Elections Laws.

?his bill makes it harder to register voters, harder to cast a ballot and harder still to have a ballot counted,?said Sen. Rich. ?t? stacking the Republican deck one year out from a presidential election by attempting to silence the voices of dissent.?

At issue is SB 2086, a measure several supervisors of elections in Florida already have estimated would disenfranchise a significant number of people by, among other things, cutting early voting from 14 days to six. Another provision of the legislation, which would bar address or name changes on Election Day, would disproportionately affect women and college students, requiring them to cast ?rovisional?ballots. Especially chilling in a state that was ground zero for the 2000 presidential recount controversy, many of those ?rovisional?ballots likely won? be counted.

The legislation also imposes heavy restrictions on third-party registration groups along with delivering broad authority to the state attorney general to initiate action against them without the slightest evidence of any wrongdoing.

?he alarm is that many of these changes are totally unnecessary,?said Sen. Rich. ?nless you want to tilt the odds of winning an election to your advantage.?

SB 2086 has already received approval by the House. It is currently pending before the Senate and is calendared for Tuesday.

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