PolitiFact: Chris Matthews has his facts wrong when discussing the 48-hour rule in Florida's new voting law

3:29 PM, Jun 21, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Florida's new voting law has created quite a feud between Democrats and Republicans. It recently made national news when the topic was discussed on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

But if you watched it, you may have gotten the wrong impression of how one part of the law works.

Along with PolitiFact Florida, Allison Kropff looks at the law to get the facts straight.

Recently, sparks flew over Florida's new voting law on Chris Matthews' show "Hardball".

Matthews discussed the law with Republican Party of Florida Chairman, Lenny Curry, particularly the part about third-party groups having to turn voter registration applications in by 48 hours or face a fine.

Matthews makes it very clear, he doesn't think the law is good public policy. Here's part of the conversation:

Matthews: The 48 hour rule basically makes it impossible to meet the deadline if you're working right to the end of the week, right? 

Curry: The law was written to ensure that we have controls and processes in place to ensure the integrity of the vote. Most of the law stood, I'm no lawyer, the judge ruled on the 48 hour piece of the law, and it's gone and it is what it is. But to suggest that Republicans want to suppress the vote...

Matthews: You don't have to be a lawyer to own a calendar to know what a weekend is, it's 48 hours.

Curry: I do own a calendar.

Right on the length of a weekend, but Matthews may want to check his facts. PolitiFact Florida went to the law.

"Essentially, the way the law was written, you have until 48 hours or the next business day if the supervisor of elections office is closed. Anyone who watched that two minute clip was left with the opinion that 'wait, this law is really screwed up' in this one sense that you can't actually register people to vote on a Friday," says Aaron Sharockman with PolitiFact Florida.

Because the law factors in weekends and holidays, PolitiFact Florida rates Matthews' claim: FALSE.

People are mad. They've gone to social media asking for him to take back his comment or apologize. PolitiFact reached out to Matthews, but have not heard back. 

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