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Florida Democrats call for more voting changes

6:40 PM, Mar 4, 2013   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- The Republican-controlled Legislature is moving to change the state's election law to prevent the long lines of last November, but Democrats say the proposals don't go far enough.

Senate Democrats offered seven steps on Monday that they would like to see in the final elections bill.

One of their main goals is to increase early voting to 14 days in every county. The GOP proposal would allow counties to choose between eight and 14 days of early voting.

Democrats also want supervisors of elections to be able to choose more early voting sites and if a polling place has a wait of more than one hour, then the supervisor would have to open another location or bring in more voting booths.

"We are proposing one early voting site per 47,000 registered voters. The number of early voting locations cannot be less than the number used during the 2012 election. In addition, wait times of longer than one hour in any early voting location would mandate the opening of an additional location or the addition of voting booths and machines to early voting sites," said Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando.

Tampa Sen. Arthenia Joyner is pushing for 15 days of early voting, including the Sunday before the Election Day.

"So that those of us who live in African-American communities and in Latino communities and in the community in general will be able to have a 'Souls to the Polls.'"

Democrats also want to restore the ability for voters to change their registrations at the polls on Election Day and vote with a regular ballot. Florida's election law currently requires those voters to cast a provisional ballot.

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