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Senate panel schedules Tampa hearing on Fla’s new voter law

by John Kennedy | December 12th, 2011

Just days before Florida holds its first election under a voter law blasted by Democrats, a Senate panel announced Monday it will hold a hearing in Tampa to gauge public reaction to the new measure.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson spearheaded the call for fellow Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois to bring his Judiciary subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Rights to the state. The panel is scheduled to hold a hearing Jan. 27 in Tampa, four days before Florida’s Republican presidential primary.

Tampa’s Hillsborough County is among five Florida counties where voting law changes must be approved by the federal Justice Department because  past racial conditions threatened voting rights.  Nelson said, “The community has many diverse groups of voters that might be affected the most under Florida’s new law, like seniors, young voters and minorities.  One recent and credible study says new laws like Florida’s could suppress millions of votes nationwide in the 2012 election.”

Democrats have pushed hard against voter laws approved in Florida and 13 other Republican-ruled states which they say are aimed at blunting Democratic turnout in next year’s presidential contest.

 Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Davie, earlier this month announced that  the party has launched a new website aimed at informing voters of the new standards — and rallying support for having them overturned.

Florida’s law is already the subject of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and voting rights organizations.

Supporters of the state’s new law deny any partisan motivation, instead saying the stricter standards are merely intended to reduce the risk of voter-fraud.

The new measure reduces the number of days available for early voting, while also imposes tighter reporting standards for third-party groups that register voters.  But a study earlier this year by the Brennan Center for Justice found that Florida’s law is part of a larger mosaic of stricter standards which could keep 5 million people nationwide from voting next year.



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2 Responses to “Senate panel schedules Tampa hearing on Fla’s new voter law”

  1. Downtown Danny Says:

    They can’t win a fair election so they make it crooked.
    We had 31 alleged incidents of voter fraud last year, mostly involving haitians.
    But who did Republicans target? Seniors, labor groups and young voters.
    Between our crook Gov Scott and the other criminal Republicans in our House & Senate this state is nothing more than a criminal enterprise run by the extreme right wing Republican puppets controlled by crooked corporate thugs who think all Americans are just a source of profit.
    It’s time to send Republican crooks a message in 2012 and throw them all out – look who they give us as a presidential nominee – Newt – a crook who was kicked out of congress and fined $300,000 by his own peers. Newt – who ran around blasting Freddie Mac while collecting $1.7 million from them for illegal lobbying. Newt- who tied up the entire congress to impeach a president for having an affair while Newt was cheating on his own wife with one of his employees.
    What more in your face proof do you need to conclude the Republican party is morally bankrupt and corrupt.

  2. Ralphyboy Says:

    Does the law apply to everyone equally? Why do restrictions on 3rd party registrations only affect Democrats? Why does requiring an ID to vote only affect Democrats? Why does a time limit on turning in registration applications or changing parties only affect Democrats? Why does the redistricting committees work only affect Democrats?

    Perhaps, it’s because the Democrats are the ones with the questionable practices.

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