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State Pushed to Extend Early Voting

October 24th, 2008 by flanews

As many as 1.1 million Floridians have already cast early ballots. Congressional Democrats and the NAACP are asking the state to extend early voting hours to keep up with the record turnout. But as Whitney Ray tells us, the Secretary of State says he cant legally change the voting schedule, but hell considering his options.

Its a test of civic duty, people in some parts of Florida waiting three hours to vote. Congressional Democrats and the NAACP want early voting hours extended to keep up with the record turnout.

We may have a situation again where voters feel disenfranchised, feel like they are on the outside of the gate looking in on the political process, that is supposed to include them, said NAACP Attorney Ben Crump.

In 2006, state lawmakers shortened the voting schedule. Election supervisors say lawmakers made a mistake.

The legislature made a conscious decision to make early voting restrictive. Again, I want to point out that the bill passed on a party line vote with all the Republicans voting for it and all the Democrats voting against it, said Ion Sancho, Leon County Supervisor of Elections.

There was as reason. So far in Florida, Democrats are outpacing Republicans, two to one, in early voting.

So far, more than a million voters have cast early or absentee ballots and flooded early voting sites. Secretary of State Kurt Browning says he doesnt think Florida law allows him to extend the voting schedule, but hell consider it.

At this time early voting hours will stand as provided by law and when a decision is made youll be notified of that decision.

If hours arent extended, Election Day lines could be another test of civic duty and voters patience. Early voting ends November 2nd. Absentee ballots can still be picked up through October 29th.

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

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