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Rep. Thurston calls on Governor Scott to ensure 2012 Presidential Election doesn’t disenfranchise Florida voters

Rep. Perry Thurston

Rep. Thurston calls on Governor Scott to ensure 2012 Presidential Election doesn’t disenfranchise Florida voters

Submitted by Mark Hollis

 

    Following the federal court decision in Washington D.C. concerning Florida’s “Voter Suppression Act,” which restricts the number of early-voting days in Florida, House Democratic Leader-designate Perry Thurston today issued a statement on behalf of the Florida House Democratic Caucus. In his remarks, Representative Thurston (D-Plantation) urges Governor Rick Scott and state elections officials to take prompt action to ensure that Florida implements statewide and uniform early voting rules to avoid disenfranchising voters anywhere in the state.

    “The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature’s decision last year to cut the number of early-voting days to eight has been found by a federal court to interfere with the ability of minorities to exercise their voting rights. House Democratic Caucus members, who have consistently warned of this potential disenfranchisement, are pleased by the court’s conclusions. But the fight to protect Florida’s voting rights isn’t over.

     “Now, because of decisions by Governor Scott’s administration to implement the so-called `Voter Suppression Act’ in 62 of Florida’s 67 counties without waiting for preclearance under the Voting Rights Act, our state has two sets of elections laws in effect. The current situation must be rectified promptly to avoid voter confusion, disenfranchisement and chaos like what our state faced in the 2000 presidential election.

     “It is imperative that Governor Scott and the state’s top election officer take action now to ensure statewide, uniform early-voting standards that maximize early voting opportunities in all 67 counties. Early voting standards, perhaps like what were in place in the 2008 general election, should be implemented statewide to ensure the 2012 presidential election doesn’t go down in history as disenfranchising Florida voters.”

     In 2008, Florida’s general election voters were allowed to participate in early voting across the state for 14 days for a total of 96 hours, including 8 hours on weekdays and a total of 8 hours on each weekend for two weekends. Under the 2011 Voter Suppression Act approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, early voting takes place for 8 days, including one weekend, and between six and 12 hours each day at the discretion of county election supervisors for a total of 48 to 96

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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