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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paula Dockery on 'stupidity' of barring voting on UF campus



Former state Sen. Paula Dockery weighs in on the secretary of state's decision to bar the use of UF's student union as an early voting site:

"...The university has a student population of 50,000 and a faculty of more than 4,000. Having a voting location on campus makes so much sense that the student union is actually one of Alachua County's 63 Election Day polling locations.

That's right, it's OK to vote there on election day but not for early voting.

The division does not seem embarrassed by this illogical distinction. It should reverse its advisory opinion immediately before furthering the perception that its goal is to limit the voting rights of these students....

Instead of mincing words and erring on the side of restricting voting, the division should apply common sense to the students' request to have their government-owned student union facility serve as an early voting location. Any reasonably minded person would have no trouble interpreting the statute to include the Reitz Union.

Because this seems to cause the division consternation, it should recommend a clarification to the statute to include student unions or higher-education facilities to the list of allowable early voting locations to benefit all Florida college students.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:33pm]


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