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Congressional hearing to be held in Florida on new voter law

by John Kennedy | November 15th, 2011

Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin approved Tuesday fellow Democrat Bill Nelson’s request for a congressional hearing in Florida on the state’s new voter law, which critics say is part of a Republican-driven effort to supress voter turnout in next year’s presidential election.

“In a democracy as vibrant as ours, there is perhaps no right that is so sacred or fundamental than the right to vote,” Durbin wrote Nelson. “I am deeply troubled by the disenfranchising impact of these recently passed state voting laws.”

Durbin is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. Durbin said the panel will hold a “field hearing” in the state, examining the impact of the new Florida law and those approved in nearby states.

Nelson wrote Durbin last month, seeking the hearing. He said new voter laws approved in Florida and 13 other Republican-ruled states violate “basic rights.”

Democrats and allied organizations say Republican legislators are trying to reduce turnout by limiting early voting and imposing tighter restrictions on third-party groups that register voters.

The ACLU and other voting rights groups have already sued to stop implementation of the law.  A study by the Brennan Center for Justice found the new laws could keep 5 million people from voting next year.

Supporters of the measures deny any partisan motivation, instead saying the stricter standards are intended to reduce voter-fraud.


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43 Responses to “Congressional hearing to be held in Florida on new voter law”

  1. NO to NELSON! Says:

    Bill Nelson doesn’t want you to present proof that you are able to vote. Just let everybody vote is Senator Bill Nelson’s mantra.

    Just another reason the NELSON NEEDS to be DEFEATED in 2012.

    GO Connie Mack!

  2. Corinne Says:

    The new law makes registration drives by civic groups in Florida a nightmare of paperwork, fines and restrictions. It is so bad that the Florida League of Women Voters has halted all voter registration activities. It shortens early voting from 15 days to 8 , omitting the last Sunday before election. It stops the ability to change an address on election for an out of county move despite the existence of a statewide data base which makes the job a no-brainer.

    Florida’s new voter suppression law” has not altered ID requirements, but it does seek to make voting more difficult for students. the less affluent who move frequently , minorities who depend on rides from church to the early voting sites and newcomers who need help in getting on the voting roles. All this to stop non existant ” fraud”.

  3. John Says:


    You are full of crap!

  4. Donald A. Says:

    If you mean Connie Mack, You are full of crap!, then you are right. If you meant Corinne, then you obviously need to get some help. Of course the Rickublicans are trying to suppress the vote. Even they know if all Floridians get to vote, they will lose. And unless you are one of the 1% of the richest in this country, you need to pull your head out of…the sand and see how we’re all being squeezed so the wealthy can continue to subdue the masses. Wake up.

  5. Palm Coaster Says:

    Donald and Corinne are correct!Rick Scott want to suppress voters rights!
    Hooray for Senator Nelson and hope he suceeds to undo Scotts new law. Enough is enough.

  6. Janie Wilkins Says:

    I am thrilled that a congresional hearing will be held! Praise God for righteousness!

  7. John Says:

    How could anyone be so blinded by partisanship that they can’t recognize a move by the GOP-led legislature to make voting more difficult for the minorities and lower-income people of this state. If you ask the County election officials in the State, the incidence of voter fraud was minimal and I would bet my life this move was simply a way to discourage the registration and participation of those who are likely to vote again for Obama.

  8. DemoNcRats Says:

    Florida League of Women Voters are a democrat front. Look at their past record and see how many democrats they have endorsed compared to republicans.

    A prejudice group formed to push democrat candidates and their agendas.

    Please post their past recommendations!

    League of Women Voters=Democrat Front

  9. Verify Says:

    Democrats want illegals to vote, democrats want people from another state to double vote in their home state and in FL, democrats want foreigners to be able to cast a ballot.

    Democrats don’t want rules and regulations in place to assure that people who are able to vote, can vote.

    Democrats are determined to destroy this country by allowing those who have no legal right to vote in FL elections to vote.

    There is nothing wrong with requiring proper ID when voting. You have to supply ID to get on a plane, ship.

    You show ID when requested by the police and other entities.

    Democrats are trying to loosen and manipulate voting.

    Democrats can vote. Don’t they have IDs?

    Nothing wrong with VERIFYING identification.

    Democrats continue to destroy America.

  10. william rhoads Says:

    this another step for the republicans to muck everthing up they want all our money ant take social security away and now they want to take our voting rights away and who do they work for the rich nad the greedy the republicans have alsway been for the rich and to heck for the rest of us!IT the republican who put us here spending over a trillion dollors on defense 2000-2008 and of course no way to pay for it! nelson is dead on this issue its a real road to dictarship!

  11. Lewis P Says:

    Wake up you people. this rule applies to everybody and not biased. opportunity is your choice. get out like everyone and vote, close the mouth and make the effort . don’t hide behind this issue. laziness has no place. If you really want to vote. the change of address, name change or new residence, there is plenty of ways to get it done before election time.

  12. william rhoads Says:

    verfiy says it the democrats but its the republican governers and the republican in the house has done everything possible to stop any kind of recovery and have made millions suffer just so they stop any progress anyone can see that what was boehmer statement right after obama election he told the republican to not to do anything for this president and they havent and in the same they have not done anything peroid but make things worse and if a rtepublican gets in start building your bomb shelters and stock them up with food and supplies cause were going right down to the abysys again and this time we wont be able to stop it!

  13. Robert C Gilley Says:

    Bill Nelson is correct. This is simply another attempt by the “ruling class” to dictate to the downtroden masses and eliminate the middle class. We might as well return to the days of kings and queens, dukes and dutchesses, etc. The republican party cannot accept defeat and they continue to lie, cheat and steal to line their pockets. The sad thing is that many people cannot see the lies. They are blinded by such issues as abortion, gun control etc. None of which puts gas in the tank, food on the table, jobs that pay and a few dollars in their pocket. If the republican party is sucessful, they will destroy unions and put the old and disabled citizens in complete poverty. The rich get richer was never more true.


    Thanks for the information about Voter Suppression in Florida. I am a disabled American, patriot who is also a writer. Although, I grew up in public housing (projects), my ancestors were brought to this country by William Penn in the seventeenth century to found Germantown. My patriot ancestor Charles Lukens, Pennsylvania was appointed a Major by General George Washington. Our right to vote was paid for in blood over many centuries. There is no higher responsibility in a democracy than guaranteeing the right to vote. Please accept my gratitude for the hearings and please schedule me.

  15. sara bee Says:

    The new restrictions seem fair on their face. But they have a disproportionate negative effect on groups more likely to vote for Democrats. When you make it harder or more time consuming to register or to vote people who have to work more than one job to keep their heads above water get squeezed. Add family or school to the mix and the squeeze gets tighter. If one has a disability time is squeezed and the ability to stand on line on election day is just not there. For these groups registration is hard if you have to go to the courthouse during regular business hours. For this group voting is hard if you have to do it in one 12 hour period. These things are no problem for a strong, healthy professional who can tell an assistant they will be taking time away from the office to perform these patriotic acts.

  16. SC Says:

    My mother-in-law voted in every election for nearly 14 years after she died. An “activist” is registering retarded students (who can neither read, write or reason)and getting them to request absentee ballots; the “activist” will “help” them fill in their choices. I say if there is no valid ID and address, or ability to vote independently without help (if a blind or quadripegic voter needs help, he or she must be capable of voicing the selected candidate and three poll workers fill in the voter card. Not an “activist” with an agenda. Last time I checked it was “one man, one vote”.

  17. Bob Denker Says:

    I am a registered Republican but I only vote on who is best. Never partyline for the sake of partyline. The 2 main things I do not like is cutting the number of early voting days, especially no Sunday voting. If this is the only time for them to vote, so be it. If anything, extend early voting 3 days! Also, what happened to that teacher helping students register is deplorable. Honest mistakes should not be penalized, especially the first year of implementation! Tightening up on residential proof requirements should be no problem but make sure they have ample time to vote, not cut it! Tightening up requirements on those helping to register to vote should be no problem as long as it is reasonable and they are allowed sufficient time to do it. When this law change came about, it was not advertised as widely as it should have been! I think that is another big problem. Something as important as this should be advertised statewide on every media available until we are sick of it,(LONG BEFORE IT GOES INTO AFFECT)! YOU POLITICIANS NEED TO REMEMBER THAT YOU WORK FOR US, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND AND IF YOU CANNOT ACCEPT THAT THEN OUT YOU GO! How will this affect absentee voting of our military & their spouses & contractors overseas that want to vote? How about out of state absentee voting?

  18. Roy Says:

    Common sense reform to reign in voter fraud and abuse, Good! The Democrats value winning over one man one vote. That one man is supposed to be one responsible American citizen that has enough common sense to get out and vote!

  19. John Guthrie Says:

    The republicrats want to crush the 99% so they can set up a ruling class of millionaires and then subvert the constitution so they can get even richer and the rest of us will be back to working for them for $2.00 a day just like in 1900. They want to do away with regulations like OSHA so they don’t have spend the money for safety for their workers anymore. Most of you probably haven’t heard of the Triangle factory, but 146 workers were burned to death there because of lack of safety rules. Also, all of you republicrats vote without ANY thought. All of you idiots who voted for Scott and Rubio should be the ones not allowed to vote. Scott has been found guilty of fraud and fined. He is a convicted CROOK!!!! Yet you vote for him. Same with Rubio. This legislation was written by a rabid right wing group who do not even live in Florida. Do we now let some out of state hate group run our state? WAKE UP!!!

  20. Poppadukes Says:

    Ever notice how the ‘LEFT” always cries fowl when they don’t get their way! Nelson and his crownies, and yes some of the contributors on this page need to realize the Country is in a bad way and trying to commit Election fraud, which is what the left is doing here will further damage this country. For the love of me, having an Picture voter I.D. or having to know that the law requires you to register to sign folks up to vote is not a defeat. It helps us and keeps the process from getting contaminated. Please get off the talking points and think for yourselves.

  21. Linda K Anderson Says:

    In view of the fact that there has not been even one substantiated case of voter fraud in Florida, one can only surmise that Rick and his Gang rushed to fix that which was not broken for ulterior motives. Please…if not to limit particular groups of potential voters, then just what was the rationale behind their rush to impose these biased changes? This Teaparty/GOP has clearly and deliberately lost its moral compass!

  22. Dave Finnigan Says:

    My 43 year old cerebral palsied son has always voted every election. He is very politically motivated. He has had no need for a photo ID until now. But now, even though he has a social security card and a voters registration card, a Medicare card and a medicaid card we need to go get him an official government photo ID, which we get at a Drivers License Bureau.

    But we just learned that he needs to bring in his birth certificate, naturalization certificate (he was born in Korea), social security card, two proofs of residential address for his parents like bank statements, plus a signed statement saying he lives with us, also two pieces of proof that he has gotten official government mail at our address.

    We are lucky because our boy has two parents aware of this big change. But there are many other disabled kids who cannot get this material together.

    This is voter suppression!!!

  23. Ray Pecaut Says:

    Two of the 9-11 terrorists that flew planes into the World Trade Center were officially registered to vote in Florida. This is because Motor-Voter allowed anybody who got a driver’s license to register to vote. If foreign terrorists can register to vote, the how many others who are not legally eligible to voter are registered? ACORN submitted registration cards for Mickey Mouse. How many other bogus persons are registered?

    The ACLU, Al-Qaeda, and the Democrats may want terrorists and illegal aliens voting in our elections; I do not.

  24. William Justus Says:

    You have to produce proof of idenity to get a license to drive, to marry and many other things that require PROOF!~…I find it a “Red Herring” for Durbin or Nelson to NOT want a person to pesent proof to vote…(I don’t want illegals, prisoners, ex-cons, or dead people to be able to vote, period) Both senators are a discrace to the political system of fairness and truth, especially Durbin…

  25. LeWanna Lewis Says:

    Yes, I am a Republican and have friends who are democrats. I love fairness, but remarks I’ve read are not fair….Yes, I believe that everyone has a right to vote that is a citizen of the United States. In order to prevent voter fraud, it is necessary to present proof of citizenship and address. If you are one of those who want everybody to vote regardless of citizenship, we would be taken over by the enemy. Whether a person is democrat or republican, we are friends and families. I am a Christian and dedicated my life to right living and loving all..not to demean anyone.

  26. Boris Badinov Says:

    Remember, this administration came from the political wards of Chicago where the motto has always been: “Vote early, vote often.”

  27. Alta Jessie Guido Says:

    The Supervisor of Election Dr. Snipes has refused to reply to my request to produce a document that defines the criteria for rejecting an Absentee Ballot, whether such criteria are built into a computer scanning device or used by multiple employees in the S of E Office to examine all requests by maile of Phone for an Absentee Ballot. In addition, a requets for a list of rejected requests for and Absentee Ballot and the reason for a rejected request, and how that voter is notified as to having been rejected is alos not forth coming. Please have your office obtain the request for ‘criteria’ and lists explained above. Thank you for all you do for the Democratic Party. Alta Jessie Guido in Pompano Beach, Florida zip 33062

  28. Ernest Hollingsworth Says:

    There is nothing wrong with the new rules and regulations recently enacted by a responsible Florida Legislature. Those crying are those who want something given to them without any work or energy used by themselves. How did they get to the voting places 20 years ago and what was required as identification then? Do they complain when they have to present identification when cashing a check or when they go to a government VA Hospital? I STRONGLY AGREE with the current regulations and want you to know I am 84 years old

  29. Nancy, FL Says:

    I have to show an ID to use my credit card, write a check, take money out of my bank, go to the doctor, pick up a prescription, get a driver license, and any number of things there shouldn’t be a problem showing an ID showing you do have the right to vote in that state.
    Talk about voter suppression where is the CONCERN about the FACT that our TROOPS were not able to vote last time because they didn’t get their absentee ballots?
    As for cutting back the days of voting it used to be only 1 day and we seemed to have no problem then! Besides this saves us MONEY something the DEMOCRATS think we have plenty of!

  30. Genevieve Vanasco Says:

    I had to get my drivers license this year. It was a nightmare. Due to what I witnessed at the DMV, I requested a replacement voter ID card. It came back wrong. My family checked their online voter ID information and they were all wrong. I am not alone and believe there is a move to suppress voters in Florida. Voting is a freedom bot the new laws will suppress millions.

  31. RayMoser Says:

    I have asked Senator Nelson to forward my permission to speak at the Fl hearings as a disabled American. The tea party rednecks and their 1% finders are being exposed as the traitors to America that they are. I can’t wait to testify and celebrate in November of 2012.


    Do Not Worry about the comments of Tea Party “white trash”. We whipped them in the Civil War and will finish the job this time. Our kids future is at stake.

  33. Sue H, Gainesville, FL Says:

    I agree with Nancy, Fl (November 17th, 2011 at 7:05 pm) above who stated the following:

    I have to show an ID to use my credit card, write a check, take money out of my bank, go to the doctor, pick up a prescription, get a driver license, and any number of things there shouldn’t be a problem showing an ID showing you do have the right to vote in that state.
    Talk about voter suppression where is the CONCERN about the FACT that our TROOPS were not able to vote last time because they didn’t get their absentee ballots?
    As for cutting back the days of voting it used to be only 1 day and we seemed to have no problem then! Besides this saves us MONEY something the DEMOCRATS think we have plenty of!”

    In addition, I have voted in Florida since 1968, and have always been asked to show proof of who I am and where I live. I don’t see what the big deal is here unless we really want people from anywhere voting in our federal, state and local elections. I don’t think we do. If I don’t live in let’s say Burbank, California, I shouldn’t be allowed to vote on the city of Burbank’s local (city, county) elections or state elections. If I don’t have proof that I’m an American citizen, I shouldn’t vote in the United States at all. I can’t imagine if I go to England or any other country where citizens are allowed to vote, they would let me vote unless I could prove I was a citizen.

  34. william rhoads Says:

    iTS AMAZING how republican always deny they didnt do anything, just like the outsourcing,wall street meltdown and banking meltdown and now they want to take youre voter rights away if you look at rubueo record on all the important issue he has not voted thats a safe way of not donig anything!if you want do anything about imagrantion it has to be a national law a state does not have the power to change that! well i guess thats just some of republications reason and rationale for an illegal bill and the bashing of democrats but the fact remains the gop is a nightmare and has almost become occult with there evil destructive ways that they and the rich wont to do Tax the pesant and fill the bucket full of cash for the rich and themselves!

  35. Donita Says:

    This is only my voice of Opinion.
    The Republicans will change anything to only convenience them.
    They did this several years back in changing the Campaigning Finance laws IF you remember, there were many incidents or issues about soliciting funds and raising campaign money and they were claiming that there were some “fraud” going on, as many of them were getting big dollar donation from unknown resources, so they created a law that you must report every dollar and name every donor, no matter how big or small of the donations.
    THEN during the 2007/2008 elections, they got a judge from Missouri or Kansas, reverse the law and they got to add to the law that their politicians and fundraisers did not have to report or list their donors.

    Now they want to change the polls and elections by stripping the rights of the Voters

    Don’t let anyone or electoral representative strip your rights away or the rights of any person.

    IT is common sense that if you move, or you want to make a change of party, you should make the change within 30 days and have a check list to report your change of address to your other important business.

    Postal Office;Banks;Investments
    IRS Form 8933;New or Old County Election office to any school your children attends,
    Financial Aid for schools; library;
    Court orders; College Savings Plan;
    Your Retirement plan;your Employer;
    Subscription magazines;Church;
    Motor Vehicles;Credit cards or secured loans;Health insurance;Doctors;
    Dentist;Family and friends

    Thankfully, most of these places listed above can be done online.

    The real question is to you, how important is your vote?

  36. Evie Says:

    What republicans fail to see is that it will affect republican vote as well. Some of the draconian ills that they are doing to society and proposing to do, just listen to the those lousy candidates, not only affect democrats but independents and other republican citizens, for what? just to save the richest 1%. People need to forget party affiliates and WAKE UP because it will affect all of us. When it rains everyone gets wet.

  37. O Alexi Dan Says:

    voting is not a right it is a privalage… it is up to us to make sure that every one does it on a fare and just.. manner… ie.not voting in part for the dead or those that can not vote for themselves or do not care to vote so one party simply buys thier vote … we all know this is going on… if you can and are in just standing order to vote just go and do it. Stop asking for more time or ways to do it. just do it. and sit down..
    Those that can not and need help get help to go and that is that…we do not need any more changes up in here.. i am only 32 and can not keep up with all the change you all need to make up your minds and leave things be…

  38. Bill T Says:

    Great idea Mr Nelson.I’ll just vote against you 10 or 12 times.

  39. Henry Matson Says:

    My Family has been in these Lands since the Mid 15th Century as Commoner English (Betts from London; came as “Indentured Servants – My Grandmother was born in Selma, NC). My last Name came from Sauromatian, through Hadrian’s Wall – Sons of Sauromatia who served in the 3rd Century for 15 years and went to Danemark. In the 4th Century Quain Matson returned to North of Hadrian’s Wall to keep the Romans from ever finding the Rose Grail and Yeshuwah – my ancestor came to these Lands in 1649 and landed in Puritan Lands – Boston Harbour. My Clannae’s Code is Honor, Family and the Country we Live in….we only Swear to two Sacred Sancrosanct Diest Documents written by Our ForeFathers – The Declaration of Independence from the King of England and the United States Constitution of OUR LANDS!!! The Republikans are CORRUPTED Politcians that Seek to “RULE as FOURTH REICH FASCISTS —they STOLE $9 Trillion Dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund and used a “Budget Resolution Vote” – NOT IN OPEN CONGRESS — and the Union Bank of Switzerland Rewarded Congressman Phil Graham with $2 Million a year for GUTTING THE GLASS-STEAGAL ACT!!!! If these Corrupted Liars of the Republican Political Party —- win in 2012; the 2nd Civil War Begins …..Take that to the Banks!!!

  40. TimetotakebackAmerica Says:

    SC is right. Who does this mysterious “activist” think they are? Aiding the mentally disabled and giving them an opportunity to vote. Christ, we’ll be letting dogs vote next.

  41. John Says:

    Just like a Republican to equate mentally disabled and dogs! Just shows their continued lack of compassion for anyone they perceive to be inferior to themselves.

  42. sue Says:

    The problem with the new voter law is not only that ID is required. It has always been required. A big problem with the new law is how very hard it makes it for new voters to register.

    What’s more, reducing polling hours creates hardships, especially for people who are not allowed to take time off work on Tuesdays. That was the whole point of extending polling hours and days.

    All of this to reduce voter fraud which has been proved to be nearly non-existent. I don’t care what your party is. If you are a citizen resident in your precinct, you should be able to vote, and you shouldn’t have to jump through difficult hoops to exercise that right.

    Many older people will also become disadvantaged because they no long have driver’s licenses and don’t bother with state IDs, yet they have been voting forever. What’s the purpose in taking away their vote?

  43. william rhoads Says:

    the irony in this is what this bill represents is a double standard one that wil;l stop iillegals from voting! but the price is to high if they kept the hours they normally have and those extra three days is very helpful to get and sunday is a must so whta the rich party wants is to shorten and nullify legetimate votes so they keep the rich richer and creating more of the pesant and the king living in castle withmoats and drawbridge to keep everybody out but the whos who rich our always welcome and we will tax to death and the will be gone and world economy will crash and those like me a vietnam vet who is terminal I have always voted and I will vote these crooks by the law by the the way just as a convisted felon is not able to vote then why was one like a govener of florida even able to run for he paid the fine and in doing so that makes him a criminal paying that fine was an admiison of guilt oh thats right if your rich you can do anything! they play by a differrent set of rules and all this bill is truly about is the vegas way of controlling the outcome by not letting people vote who our legitamate voters because they have shorten the time so with special needs and the elderly who cant stand in lines and parents who work two jobs and raise they kids and there activity our not able to vote because they have shorten the time and sunday should be in there,so what get reverse voter fraud by not letting pesant vote and that does not included the illegal make it fair give thee orignal amount of time for everybody this opens the door for the military who can single any one out deney there vote for any reason. Sure sounds alot like russia has going on right now find the time to get it done or drop this law like a bad cold its not what it seems and by the way being I am a florida resident who saw the voter cards found in the everglades!so please this the same cloudy retanale they bush the second term thanks to his brother who was govener!so who do you beleive not the rich party because thats how they handle it and this law is the same thing with mirrors and a smoke screens to think it will stop illegals voting and then to shorten the time to collect the proof and get it done is same as dumping ballots in the everglades!

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