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Nelson backing federal elections proposal capping voting waits at one hour

by Dara Kam | February 12th, 2013

Reacting to Floridians who stood in line for up to eight hours before casting their ballots last year, Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is pushing a measure that would set a national goal of a maximum of a one-hour wait at any polling place during federal elections.

Nelson is co-sponsoring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s “LINE, or Lines Interfere with National Elections act, filed by the California Democrat last year in reaction to long lines in Florida, Virginia and Ohio.

In Palm Beach County, some voters waited more than seven hours at the Lantana Road Branch Library on the last day of early voting.

“In the interest of fairness and to avoid undermining the credibility of our elections, we should be making voting more convenient, not more difficult,” Nelson said in a press release today. “People should not have to stand in line for hours to exercise a basic right, not in a Democracy like ours.”

President Obama is expected to highlight the need to address voting problems in his State of the Union address tonight, where a 102-year-old Florida woman who waited more than three hours to vote will be a guest of the First Lady.

In his inaugural address, the president said: “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

The Boxer bill would require the U.S. attorney general to issue new national standards by Jan. 1, 2014 regarding the minimum number of voting machines, election workers and other election resources necessary to hold federal elections. And it would require that minimum standards take into account the number of eligible voters, recent voter turnout, the number of new voter registrations, Census data for each polling place and the socio-economic makeup of the voting population.

In 2011, the GOP-dominated legislature shortened the early voting period from 14 to eight days despite long lines in 2008 that prompted then-Gov. Charlie Crist to extend the number of early voting hours. Former GOP officials, including Crist (who is now a Democrat) said the law was intentionally designed to inhibit Democratic turnout in 2012.

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10 Responses to “Nelson backing federal elections proposal capping voting waits at one hour”

  1. sam Says:

    Great, there is no reason people should have to wait so long to vote, I waited more than three to vote.

  2. Kevin Says:

    I’m not in favor the feds involvement in this states issue because the states should do the right thing by their voting public without feds telling having too tell them what that Republicans failed to achieve their desired outcome in the last election regardless of their attempt to stymie minority voting and I would hope have seen the error of their ways. I expect though that if this passes the republican state legislature will eliminate early voting all together in order to duck the provisions in the law. They are all dishonest corporatist’s willing to cheat and steal or do whatever it takes to win elections at any cost. After all don’t you people realize that republican trickle down policies improve your lives? Yeah right….. Unfortunately with human nature being what it is nobody can be trusted to do what’s in the best interest of somebody else. Looking out for number one is the top priority especially among politicians. These people could take some lessons from the Pope in self deprivation for the common good. How is it all these guys leave their moderately well paying government jobs as millionaires? Are they taking money for doing something else? Perish the thought.

  3. Carl Says:

    It doesn’t matter obama voters will still cheat and vote twice.

  4. Deb Says:

    Carl, just like Bush lied and cheated? Republicans need to get their heads out of their A**es and realize what is really going on in the world outside of Fox News!

  5. Curious George Says:

    @ LIBTARD # 1 DEB

    In December ’06.. GW Bush was president
    The DOW was at 14,000 – national unemployment was at 4.6% – deficit was $260Billion…
    Then in January ’07 the LIBTARDS took over the Senate AND the House!  The country started to crash after that

    Also please remember that the NY Times, The Washington Post, The PB Post and many other LIBTARD media outlets say GW Bush WON Florida outright in 2000… Read for yourself instead of drinking the LIBTARD KoolAid

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/12/politics/12VOTE.html

  6. Searcher1 Says:

    So, no one is talking about voter FRAUD anymore. Everyone knows that cutting voting hours was an attempt by the Republicans to stack the election. And it FAILED MISERABLY!

  7. J Padilla Says:

    Just because some people chose not to vote via mail and chose not to vote in the time allotted before the formal election date, whose fault is that? I received notices in the mail, saw notices on TV Channels, radio, etc., letting the public know about early voting. People need to take responsibility for the choices they make.

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  10. Judy Alves Says:

    There were no voting problems in the five Florida counties that are under the Dept of Justice section 5 review. Why does anyone think the State legislative foxes should be guarding the citizens’ hen house.

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