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State Denies Federal Poll Watchers, For Now

October 21st, 2008 by flanews

The state may change its tune about letting federal poll watchers into voting sites on Election Day. Secretary of State Kurt Browning originally denied watchers access, but as Whitney Ray tells us, now the governor is voicing his support for the idea.

Long lines and limited parking are a nuisance to anyone trying to vote but for the blind, the deaf, and Floridians in wheelchairs these problems could keep them from casting a ballot. Advocacy groups are asking Floridians with disabilities to vote before Election Day to avoid any problems.

We feel that with early voting if there is a problem of any kind then there is an opportunity to correct it, said Advocacy Center Spokeswoman Carolee Howe.

Federal Poll Watchers want to document any problems disabled Floridians have casting ballots on Election Day. They asked the state for permission to conduct a study. Their request was denied.

They were told no because Florida law does not permit them in the polling place, said Secretary of State Kurt Browning.

The state cooperated with a study the study in 2000 and allowed federal watchers into polling sites in four counties. US Senator Bill Nelson has written Governor Charlie Crist asking him to let the poll watchers in. The governor agrees.

I think that Senator Nelsons request is reasonable, said Crist.

Crists word should be final, which means voting sites in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties will soon be under scrutiny for how disabled voters are treated. Secretary Browning says he has a group of state attorneys looking at the issue and hell base his decision on what they decide.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Elections, State News, Voting | No Comments »

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