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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Senate panel will hold hearing in Florida on new voting law



The head of the U.S. Senate committee overseeing civil rights said Tuesday he will hold a hearing in Florida over the state's controversial new election law.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat in charge of the judiciary subcommittee, said in a letter that he agrees the law "will almost certainly disenfranchise a wide swath of the state's young, minority, senior, disabled, rural, and low income voters."

Durbin was writing to Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who requested the hearing, and who suggested others be held in states with similar laws, also pushed by Republicans.

Florida's law, which is being challenged in court, cuts early voting days and limited voter registration drives, among other changes. Durbin said he wrote a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking him to explain steps the state would take to alleviate concerns. "To date, Gov. Scott has not responded to my letter."

Durbin did not specify when or where the hearing would be held.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 8:54pm]


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