FL Governor’s Support of Early Voting is the First of Many Steps Required to Truly Restore Democracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 17, 2013

Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jfarmer@advancementproject.org or 202.728.9557 ext. 341

GOV. RICK SCOTT’S SUPPORT OF EARLY VOTING THE FIRST OF MANY STEPS REQUIRED TO TRULY RESTORE DEMOCRACY IN FLORIDA

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott today formally endorsed three major changes to Florida election procedures, including increasing the number of early voting days from 8 to a maximum of 14 and expanding early voting sites beyond libraries, election offices and city halls. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis issued the following statement in response:

“We are encouraged Governor Scott is finally joining Mi Familia Vota, Florida New Majority, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Advancement Project and many others in advocating for the expansion of early voting and early voting sites.

“In a democracy, the government has a responsibility to ensure elections are free, fair and accessible. By restricting early voting, Governor Scott needlessly erected barriers to the ballot box. The restrictions fell hardest on African-American and Latino voters, many of whom were forced to stand in massively long lines or miss work, and forego pay, in order to vote.

“Governor Scott’s actions today are an important step but more work remains. It is imperative the governor and the legislature take concrete steps to make it easier for civic-minded groups to register voters by lifting harsh penalties that impede voter registration and, establishing clear parameters and specific guidelines for local Supervisors of Elections to ensure all voters – no matter where they live in the state – are able to vote without incident.

“While the governor has taken a step forward, his actions are a floor and not a ceiling for the work that must be done to guarantee full access to the franchise and truly restore democracy in Florida.”

 

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