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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson says to check history on counting provisional ballots

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson came to Tallahassee Monday to oppose major changes to election law being considered by the House and Senate, and to talk about provisional ballots.

Among many different provisions in HB 1355 and SB 2086, the bills would no longer allow voters who have moved or changed their last name to update their information at the polls on Election Day. Instead, those voters would have to file provisional ballots that are reviewed after the election.

Republicans say it's a way to eliminate possible voter fraud. But Democrats like Nelson say it's an way to suppress the votes of people most likely to change their names (women) and people most likely to move frequently (young people and college students). At a press conference with Democratic state legislators, Nelson was asked what was so wrong with people having to cast a provisional ballot.

"Look at history," Nelson answered. "Look at the provisional ballots in 2008. Fifty-five percent of them were discounted. Fifty-five percent of the people who cast a provisional ballot in the last presidential election -- their vote did not count."

PolitiFact Florida turned to the stats to see in Nelson was right.

[Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 3:04pm]


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