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Central Florida LCLAA Chapter

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Voter protection groups across the state are calling for complete election reform in Florida.

Last Tuesday, some central Floridians stood in line for four hours trying to cast their ballots.

It was a coalition of community organizations headed up the League of Women Voters who held a news conference demanding Florida reform its election system.

"Today we all come together with a joint call for the governor and Legislature to join together with a joint will that they too agree that election reform is needed in Florida," said League of Women Voters President Deirdre McNab.  "They must agree what happened last week in Florida will never happen again."

The speakers, representing groups from AARP to the ACLU cried foul over the long lines at some polling places last week, the delayed counts for absentee ballots and the high amount of provisional ballots cast.  They want the governor to form a bipartisan task force to study the issue and report its recommendations no later than two weeks before the next legislative session. 

The group's list of complaints was long and included a too long ballot and poll workers not equipped to deal with voter questions. They blamed much of the trouble on election laws passed by the Republican lead Florida Legislature in 2011 that shortened the number of days for early voting from 14 to eight.

"We warned the legislature that this would create a problem, hardship for historically ethnic and minority groups and they didn't listen," said ACLU spokeswoman Joyce Hamilton Henry.

Many speakers also claimed the problems disproportionately affected minority voters.

"Obviously, Florida now is the butt of every late night host's jokes as the state that can't count right," said the Rev. Randolph Bracy of the New Covenant Baptist Church.  "And it is my prayer that starting from the Gov. and the Legislator that a word has been sent across the bow. Florida, let us not be the butt of everybody's jokes but lets get it right."

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Click on the above image to watch the news report of groups calling for voting reform.

 

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