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Voting Hurdles

April 21st, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Casting your ballot and having it counted this fall could be problematic say several voting rights groups. The NAACP, The ACLU, and others say Florida is the most hostile state in the nation to new voters. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the state argues that just because they say it, doesnt make it true

Under Florida law, former felons still face huge hurdles registering to vote. Supervisors of elections are forbidden from hand counting paper ballots, and new identification standards make it easier to deny someone the right to vote. Leon supervisor Ion Sancho says thats just the beginning.

We seem to be more concerned with keeping people away from the voting processes, making provisional voting harder, making it more difficult to early vote, Sancho said.

The ACLU says big changes are needed.

Being Bill and having a social security card registered as William should not prevent a person from exercising the right to vote, Courtney Strickland with the ACLU said.

But the state says it goes out of the way to make sure votes are counted.

I think were smart enough to know Mike and Michael are the same person, Secretary of State Kurt Browning said. So we would, in fact, clear that on through as a match voter registration.

The state argues people have plenty of time to make sure things are right.

You have 23 months in which you can register to vote, Browning said. We go to great lengths to insure that the voters are on the list.

In May, the Florida Supreme Court will hear this Sarasota case, which could result in more power shifting to the state.

The suit involves Sarasota wanting stricter audit procedures than called for in state law.
It is a continuation of a fight over who controls elections…the state or local supervisors.

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