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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:25 PM

HB1355, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott meant many did not vote

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/11/3092359/voter-suppression-and-floridas.html

By Marc Caputo


Edgar Oliva waited to vote at Shenandoah Elementary School and fretted.

The line was too long. The clock was ticking. He had to get to work across town.

Twice before, during in-person early voting, he tried to vote but he had to leave because lines were even longer. Tuesday was his third try at voting in between one of his two jobs, cleaning carpets in Doral and working at an airport hotel.

About 4 p.m. on Election Day, he gave up.

“I had the intention of voting but there were always a lot of people,” Oliva, a native of Guatemala, told a Miami Herald reporter as he left the scene.

Oliva had so much company on Tuesday.

Voter after voter who spoke to Herald reporters on Election Day said the longer early voting lines dissuaded them from casting early ballots in person. And then the unexpected long lines on Election Day just compounded the sense of frustration in some places. Many dropped out of line.

The experience played out across the state. Data show the 71.13 percent turnout percentage in 2012 fell well short of the rates in 2008 (75 percent) and 2004 (74 percent).

In 38 of 67 counties, fewer people cast a ballot for president this time than in 2008.

Only 80,351 more people voted now than in 2008 even though the voter rolls increased by 686,812, according to the latest numbers from the state’s elections division.

Relatively speaking, Florida in 2012 moved backward when it came to voting.

If the statistics and the experience of voters like Oliva are not evidence of voter suppression, then we’ll need to change the definition of “suppressant” in Webster’s dictionary: “an agent (as a drug) that tends to suppress or reduce in intensity rather than eliminate something (as appetite).”

Tuesday showed the appetite was there.

But the government wasn’t.

The chief suppressant: HB1355, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011.

The law shortened early voting periods. And it created a longer ballot by giving lawmakers the ability to print the entire text of proposed constitutional amendments because the courts kept rejecting the Legislature’s ballot summaries as misleading.

Early voting was shortened to prevent a repeat of 2008, when Barack Obama won Florida, largely on the strength of early voting. So Republicans cut early voting days from 14 to eight. And they loaded amendments on the ballot, which stretched for at least 10 pages in Miami-Dade.

The other voter suppressant was local: a lack of enough voting booths and ballot scanners in some precincts. That’s controlled by each county’s supervisor of elections.

Bottom line: there was less time to vote a longer ballot without adequate equipment this election.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/11/3092359/voter-suppression-and-floridas.html#storylink=cpy

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Reply HB1355, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott meant many did not vote (Original post)
flamingdem Nov 2012 OP
LisaL Nov 2012 #1
flamingdem Nov 2012 #3
SDjack Nov 2012 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #2
flamingdem Nov 2012 #4
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #5
HockeyMom Nov 2012 #6

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:28 PM

1. We need to send this article to Gov Scott.

Considering he is planning a review on why lines were long.
There is no point in doing a review, considering the answer is as plain as is nose on his face.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:30 PM

3. The article doesn't mention that mailing this long ballot cost

$1.50 in much of the state. That would make many people chose to stand in line, but not for 7 hours, even one hour is too long.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:54 PM

7. Scott is doing the review to find pressure points to make

voter suppression work better next time. He doesn't want the 47% voting.

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:30 PM

2. One of the only laughs I had

from this entire debacle in FL was reading about Romney supports who dropped out of line after just an hour or two and others who had their cars towed at a cost of $124.

As a suppression tactic, this was a really stupid one.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:31 PM

4. I read that Democrats were towed in Miami

Regardless that's pretty shameless considering the police knew what was going on, sheesh.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:47 PM

5. And Republicans...

This one woman was complaining bitterly on the evening news down here. She was in a group of like-minded republican souls that day....

I imagine the parking lot was privately owned, as it was across the street, and the owners called the towing company.

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:08 PM

6. In person Absentee Ballot

My husband wainted on line Early Voting in Naples for 2 hours. I never mailed in my ballot while away in NY. I sat at home having a cup of coffee and took my time filling it out. Two days after early voting ended, I drove to the Supervisor of Elections and handed it to the Clerk who recorded it. No waiting, no lines, no nothing. You can bring an Absentee Ballot ANY DAY they are open; Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, up until 7 PM on Election Day. All told it took me driving, walking through the parking lot and back, and giving it to the Clerk, about 20 minutes. I didn't even have to pay the 65 cents postage! This could very easily have been done on a lunch break from work.

Take THAT, Rick Scott!

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