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  • Warring Chambers End Session 1, May1, 2015
    Friday is the constitutional scheduled end to legislative session – but work stopped earlier this week because of a healthcare budget battle. As Matt Galka tells us, even with both chambers not getting anything done, there’s still plenty of political drama, and no love lost, between the two sides. Day 60 of legislative session typically […]
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  • Democrats Keep Hammering GOP House Majority 1, April30, 2015
    Here’s their latest release: Democrats continue to hammer House Republicans in vulnerable districts over their early exit this week and are now dropping thousands of mailers in nine swing districts, a day after announcing they were targeting those same districts with robo-calls. “In Tallahassee, Manny Diaz lets the Tea Party pull his strings,’’ reads the […]
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  • Senate Democrats File Writ, Seek Return of House 1, April30, 2015
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  • Senate Says House Should Come Back 1, April29, 2015
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  • Legislative Meltdown Helps Environmentalists Regroup 1, April29, 2015
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  • Legislative Meltdown is History Making 1, April28, 2015
    The Florida House called it quits today, ending the 2015 Legislative session three and a half days early in an intractable dispute over expanding health care. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, lawmakers still face a June 30th deadline to pass a state budget. Just after 1, House Speaker Steve Cristifulli told his members that negotiations […]
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  • Fracking Legislation Could Survive Session Shutdown 1, April28, 2015
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  • House Approves Online Voter Registration 1, April28, 2015
    The biggest news out of the Florida Capitol today was the House calling it quits three days early, but before they did, they managed to get some work done. As Matt Galka tells us, the chamber passed an online voter registration bill – without support of the Governor’s top elections official. Online voter registration could […]
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  • Amendment 1 Lost in the Budget Shuffle 1, April27, 2015
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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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