Llorente sues to stop elections rewrite still before Scottby John Kennedy | May 18th, 2011
Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Marcelo Llorente filed suit Wednesday, seeking to stop the Republican-ruled Florida Legislature’s rewrite of elections law that Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign into law.
Llorente is seeking an injunction against Miami-Dade elections officials to stop the new elections measure (CS/HB 1335) from taking effect.
Llorente, a former Republican House member, maintains that a provision that would eliminate Sunday’s scheduled early voting in Miami — in advance of next week’s election – is unconstitutional.
State law, “cannot deny the right of the Miami-Dade County citizens to continue with a lawful and properly noticed election already under way,” Llorente said in his lawsuit filed in the county’s circuit court.
Llorente is among 11 candidates running for the post. But the legal challenge to the elections law comes even as Scott is mostly drawing heat from Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and a half-dozen members of Congress who want the Justice Department to block the elections law because they maintain it may interfere withe the federal Voting Rights Act.
Scott has until Saturday to act on the legislation. He told the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday that he was still making up his mind.
The governor also said he wouldn’t sign an elections bill he thought could hurt voters.
“I’m not going to sign a bill that discourages people from voting,” Scott said during a break in Wednesday’s hurricane conference in Fort Lauderdale. He added, “I want people to vote.”