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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio on Florida's new voting law



Sen. Bill Nelson raised his concerns over Florida's new election law with Sen. Marco Rubio the other day, but Rubio does not think there is a concerted effort to limit voting.

"I’m always for making it easier to legally vote in the U.S., and I think in Florida we made steps to do that," Rubio told the Buzz. "Today anyone can vote by mail. Today you have a whole week to (early) vote. Today you have an election day you can vote on as well. So if you really want to vote in Florida, legally, there are very few impediments."

Rubio did say he'd have to look closer at new limits on voter registration drives, which have ensnared a Panhandle school teacher. But he does not view more limited early voting as "an effort to disenfranchise people."

Under the new law, which is being contested in court, early voting is reduced from 15 days to eight days, but the total number of early voting hours will stay at 96. (actually, it's an "option" to stay at that level. More on that here.)

"By and large, if you can afford to do more, you should do more," Rubio said. "One of the arguments I’ve heard in the past from some local counties is that not that many people vote in the first week and you’re basically paying all this money and there’s not a lot of voters."

PolitiFact Florida looked at a similar claim, made by a lawmaker in South Florida, and found that the "trickle" of voters in the first week did not stand up to scrutiny. Background on that here.

We asked Rubio about the sexual harassment allegations facing Herman Cain. "I don’t know anything about the Herman Cain stuff other than what’s being reported. I’m not going to be commenting."

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 2:09pm]


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