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News Section: State Government

Florida House Votes to Cut Early Voting Period

Published Saturday, May 7, 2011 2:40 am
BRADENTON – House Bill 1355, which among other things shortens the early voting period, passed this week mostly along party lines. If made law, early voting would be reduced from 14 days to 8. The bill would also add several restrictions that would most likely increase the number of voters casting “provisional” ballots dramatically.

Voters would no longer be able to change their address or name at the polls. Under the bill, they can only change their registration at the polls if moving within the same county. Otherwise they would have to cast a provisional ballot.

The bill would also require third-party voter registration groups to turn in registration cards within 48 hours of them being signed, seen by such groups as a significant impediment to increasing voter turnout.

Locally, Representatives Boyd (R-68), Steube (R-67) and Pilon (R-69) all voted in favor of the bill. Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-55) opposed it. Click here to contact you local representative and tell them how you feel.

Democrats argued that it was a deliberate effort to disenfranchise poor voters who most needed early voting options and college students who most often change addresses at polls -- both groups that tend to vote Democrat. Republicans countered that the intent was to reduce voter fraud, though no significant problems were found by state and local election supervisors to support a need for such changes on that basis.

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This article ought to mention that the same bill also makes it virtually impossible for a new political party to put a presidential nominee on the ballot.
Posted by richard winger on May 9, 2011

I approve of these measures..not that they effect who can or cannot vote but they will help to save money. Sure the 14 days early voting is reduced to 8 but the hours were also extended so there are still 96 hours of early voting just in 8 days..less days to pay people to sit and wait for people that do not vote early (perhaps not in a presidential election year but for city elections these extra days are days of waiting when not too many people show up early). This also returns Florida to the days prior to Motor Voter was passed in 1992. It worked well pre 1992 and will work the same this time I am sure. The main things Democrats have to worry about is nothing. Those that want to vote early still can, those that want to change registration or address can as well...just do it before election day as most people do when they move and update drivers licenses etc. If someone cares not to take personal resposibility in doing these prior to voting the state does not need to be the nanny and make it easier for these individuals.
Posted by Chris Carman on May 8, 2011

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