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Democrats call for extension of early voting, but Gov. Rick Scott says no thanks

3:58 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida Democrats are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to extend early voting hours because a lot of polling places are struggling to keep up with a record turnout.

More than three million Floridians, 3,056,580 through Wednesday, have already cast their ballots at early voting locations and by mail. It's a record turnout in some locations around Florida and that's creating long lines at the polls.

Now the Florida Democratic Party wants Gov. Scott to extend early voting through this Sunday.

The Republican-controlled Legislature eliminated that last Sunday of early voting with a new elections law that cut back the number of early voting days from 14 to 8.

Democrats criticize that decision. Scott Arceneaux of the Florida Democratic Party says there is plenty of precedent for extending early voting.

"In 2008, we had a Republican governor who extended early voting hours. Even Jeb Bush extended early voting hours. Since that time the Republican Legislature has actually cut early voting in half. We now see that was a critical mistake. We've got tremendous lines in places like Miami-Dade, in Broward, in Palm Beach and we feel that to really give every Floridian the chance to vote the governor needs to step in and extend early voting hours into Sunday like we've had in the past."

The Scott administration responded, saying the current early voting process is working fine.

Department of State spokesman Chris Cate says any voter in line when the polls close during early voting and on Election Day will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Dave Heller

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