Long Lines Could Lead to Voting Reform in Florida

Emails tell the stories of Florida voters locked out of the process.

A woman in Seminole County taking care of her disable husband writes “I went home without voting.” She couldn’t leave her husband alone the more than three hours needed to vote.

In Palm Beach a voter waited eight hours to cast a ballot. She writes, “There is something very stupid about the system of voting here in Florida.”

In Lee County, a voter called the process disgraceful, and watched senior after senior leave without casting a ballot.

“The long wait lines were simply too long for them,” said Jessica Lowe Minor.

The emails are just a sample of complaints sent to The League of Women Voters.

“We are really upset about that and we hope that our elected leaders will take that seriously and will consider policy changes in the future,” said Minor.

Election policy did change last year, but it may have actually made voting more difficult instead of easier. Early voting was cut from 14 days to eight.

During the next legislative session, Democrats will consider a bill to return early voting to two weeks and to increase the number of poling sites.

“We can always improve upon an election.” Said Ken Detzner.

When the polls closed Tuesday night Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he was open to discussing changes, but voter advocate Brad Ashwell is skeptical. “I think you will see people in power try to figure out better ways to shape the system to benefit their party next time around.”

A detailed plan for election reform will be rolled out next week, by voter advocates.

Last year’s changes to Florida’s elections laws were challenged in federal court. All 80 of the changes were upheld.

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