Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Common Cause group sees problems in Florida voting

TALLAHASSEE — Seven weeks before Election Day, the watchdog group Common Cause warns that "serious problems" in Florida's election system could disenfranchise voters.

Common Cause and the policy research group the Century Foundation studied potential voting problems in 10 swing states, the largest of which is Florida.

Their study zeroes in on Florida's "no match, no vote" law, passed by the Legislature in 2005 and recently upheld by a federal judge. The law invalidates a voter registration in the state's automated system if a driver's license number or last four Social Security digits on the voting application do not match the numbers on other databases.

"Only one state — Florida — is persisting in using an exact match standard," said Tova Wang, author of the report. "They're taking extra steps that will result in many people having their voter registration applications rejected."

Secretary of State Kurt Browning, the state's top elections official, reacted with frustration to the report's criticism.

He said he has taken steps to make sure voters with defective paperwork can still vote. Those steps include an official notice from a county elections office, the ability to cast a provisional ballot in the election and a two-day grace period after the election to give verifying evidence.

"I stand by my decision to ensure that Florida has accurate voter registration rolls," Browning said. "I am not in the business of suppressing voters."

Referring to Common Cause and other advocacy groups that are critical of the "no match, no vote" law, he said, "These folks won't be happy until they keep everybody in total turmoil."

The full report can be viewed online at

Steve Bousquet can be reached at

Common Cause group sees problems in Florida voting 09/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    ON THE BALL: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria makes the play and the throw during the first inning against the Pirates.
  2. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company


    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.
  3. Lightning prospects mantra: You never know when NHL chance will appear

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Brett Howden said he watched closely last season as former junior teammate Brayden Point made an remarkable rise to a Lightning regular in his first year pro.

    Lightning prospect Mikhail Sergachev skates during the Lightning Development Camp Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. McConnell trying to revise the Senate health care bill by Friday


    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is aiming to send a revised version of his health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as Friday as he continues to push for a vote before Congress' August recess.

    Protesters rally against the Senate Republican health care bill Wednesday on the east front of the Capitol building.
  5. Police raise likely death toll in London high-rise blaze


    LONDON — The number of people killed or presumed dead in the London high-rise fire has inched up to 80, but the final death toll may not be known for months, British police said at a grim briefing Wednesday.