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  • State, Tribe Fire Off Letters On Gaming 1, July27, 2015
    The deal allowing blackjack and other table games at Seminole casinos in the state is just about up. As Matt Galka tells us, the state is wondering when the Tribe will end those games. Cards are still being dealt at Seminole Casinos around the state…for now.  The provision in the Seminole Compact that gives the […]
    Matt Galka
  • State Seeks E-Cig Regulations from Feds 1, July24, 2015
    The state’s top doctor is calling for warning labels on e cigarette devices and vials of liquid nicotine., It is already illegal for anyone under 18 to use or be sold e cigarette products, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, being illegal hasn’t stopped an explosion in underage use. State lawmakers make it clear last […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • ADA Turns 25 1, July24, 2015
    Life wasn’t easy for Americans living with disabilities a quarter of a century ago. But as Matt Galka tells us, the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities act is a cause for celebration, but doesn’t mean the work is done. John Kemp says there’s no comparison between 2015 and 1990. “It’s so much better […]
    Matt Galka
  • Attorneys General Want Big Five Phone Companies to Crack Down on Robo Calls 1, July23, 2015
    If you’ve ever scrambled to answer your phone only to hear a recorded message, you are not alone. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, 45  State Attorneys General, including Florida’s, want the phone companies to do something about the calls. The come on a daily basis. Calls offering something for nothing. “It’s already been paid for, […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Change the Vote 1, July23, 2015
    A bipartisan group of activists wants to drastically change the way candidates are selected. As Matt Galka tells us, the group says it’s an effort to include everyone. Closed primaries determine Florida’s partisan candidates for Congress, the state legislature, Governor and cabinet.  But one group wants to change that. “Currently we have over 27 percent […]
    Matt Galka
  • New Idea Could Bring More Lawyers to State 1, July22, 2015
    Floridians in need of a lawyer could have many more options in the near future.  As Matt Galka tells us, the Florida Bar association is mulling over an idea to allow out of state lawyers to practice in the Sunshine State. Florida isn’t seeing a shortage of lawyers by any means.  The more than 100 […]
    Matt Galka
  • National Guard Armory Threatened 1, July21, 2015
    A threat is made to a National Guard facility down the street Florida’s Capitol. As Matt Galka tells us, it comes in the wake of a shooting tragedy in Tennessee less than a week ago, and after the Governor took steps to secure facilities around the state. Bomb sniffing dogs roamed the parking lot of […]
    Matt Galka
  • A Marriage Uptick in Florida 1, July21, 2015
    A new report from the Department of Health shows slightly more people got married last year than the year before, ending what has been a decade long decline, And as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the number of divorces is also falling. Alma Reyes Rivera tided the knot with her beau Louis in a civil ceremony […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Jeb Returns to Mount Tallahassee 1, July20, 2015
    Former Florida Governor and now Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush returned to the state Capital he once called Mount Tallahassee to talk about the changes he made in state government, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the changes he hopes to make in Washington. Jeb bush was the first Republican governor of FL to serve two […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Special Session to Redraw Unconstitutional Maps Set for August 10-22 1, July20, 2015
    It’s official. Florida lawmakers are calling themselves into a twelve day special session to redraw the state’s congressional maps. They will arrive at the State Capitol on Monday afternoon, August tenth, and spend the next 12 days working on the maps declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court. The judge in the case set a […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Controversy over Elections Bill Grows

May 18th, 2011 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill that would drastically change Floridas election laws. The bill would limit early voting, make it harder to register voters and set a deadline for voters to update their registration information. As Whitney Ray tells us, the US Justice Department has been asked to review the changes.

Last year Carley Sattler helped register hundreds of voters at Florida State University.

A lot of students werent even aware that there were elections, said Sattler.

Carley is the Chapter Chair of FSU PIRG and regularly participates in voter registration drives. But she may stop signing up voters because of changes in Floridas elections laws.

I wouldnt be shocked at all if a lot of organizations stopped doing registration. The fees were scary enough the past semesters, now fees and deadlines are even more restrictive, said Sattler.

The changes shorten the time voter registration groups have to turn in forms from 10 days to two For each form turned in late a 50 dollar fine would be levied.

It would also force volunteers to registrar with the state before signing up voters. Those changes have volunteer groups like the League of Women Voters crying foul.

That could be an undo burden for people who really do this as a labor of love, something they are committed to and see as their civic duty, said League Spokeswoman Jessica Lowe-Minor.

Other changes include shortening early voting from two weeks to one and require voters who change their address 30 days before Election Day to cast provisional ballots.

The controversy surrounding the changes has already reached Washington A delegation of Democratic Congressmen sent a letter to the Justice Department asking for a review. The Justice Department responded with this letter promising to Carefully Consider the changes to see if they violate the Voter Rights Act.

Supporters of the changes say its all about fraud prevention. But theres only been 31 reports of voter fraud in Florida since 2008 and in only four of those cases arrest warrants were issued.

Besides third party voter registration groups and supervisors of elections Democrats oppose the bill. They say the changes would have a major impact on their voters because Democrats are more likely to voter early. Theyre also more likely to register to vote with a third party registration group.

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