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The Lakeland Ledger - 'No Match, No Vote': No Fair

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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-08 04:29 AM
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The Lakeland Ledger - 'No Match, No Vote': No Fair
This is amazing - the Ledger is usually very right wing and pro-Republican. If they are changing their tone, maybe the areas along the I-4 corridor are shifting!

Published: Monday, October 27, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 3:05 a.m.

The Nov. 4 general election is a bit more than a week away, but business has been booming at early voting poling places. In the first two days of early voting alone, 150,766 Floridians cast their ballots.

In some large counties, people are already waiting in line to vote. Voters who show up without state-verified identification may have to wait longer. They may even have to make a special trip to the Supervisor of Elections office in order to present their verified ID.

Last week, a legal opinion from a Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections attorney says supervisors are free to accept identification at polling places. But an earlier interpretation from the Secretary of State's Office expressed a different view.

Confused? Don't feel bad. It's a confusing law.

If the point of the new No Match, No Vote Law is to prevent fraud, Florida elections officials should answer this question: Is there a better way?

The law is hard to explain and hard to defend. It requires that new voter registration applications be matched against the state's identification databases. Any name-and-number discrepancies must be resolved before the citizen's vote can count.

The requirement has been heavily criticized by voter-rights groups who say that typos and misspellings - many caused by bureaucrats - could disenfranchise citizens by the thousands, particularly minorities.


Secretary of State Kurt Browning disagrees, saying that most discrepancies can be caught ahead of time and easily cleared up. Even in the more difficult cases, citizens have until two days after the election to substantiate their identification, allowing their provisional ballot to be counted.

But Browning's defense begs the overriding question: If most of the discrepancies are minor and easily corrected, where is the evidence that the new verification measures are actually weeding out attempted voter fraud?

It takes staff resources to run down discrepancies between the applications and the databases. The state's Division of Elections is so swamped with new registrations that it has been sending them on to county supervisors, who have to take on the added processing duties at a time when their offices are already struggling with other election responsibilities.

There is a big difference between deliberate deception and innocent clerical errors. This law goes too far.

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