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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats, advocates assail House elections bill



With the full House poised to take up a major rewrite of Florida's election laws, a group of House Democratic lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday to assail the move as a nakedly partisan attempt to favor Republicans in the 2012 presidential election. 

Freshman Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, led the charge on the bill (HB 1355). "This is a voter suppression bill," Clemens said. "Quite simply, this bill makes it harder to register people to vote, it makes it harder to vote and it makes it harder to have your vote counted."

The bill would requires voters who change their address at the polls on Election Day from another county to cast a provisional ballots. It also imposes stringent new requirements on third-party groups, including political parties, that seek to register new voters. 

Also speaking in opposition to the bill were Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho; Ben Wilcox of the League of Women Voters; Brad Ashwell of the Florida Public Interest Research Group; and Richard Polangin of the Florida Alliance of Retired Americans. With no evidence of voter fraud or irregularities, they asked, what's the need for such sweeping legislation? 

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:34pm]


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