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Rick Scott's hometown elections chief won't yet abide voting law he signed

The elections supervisor in Rick Scott’s home county refuses to recognize a new law the governor signed out of concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice hasn’t decided whether it violates a law protecting minority voters.

In a letter to the state’s elections division, Collier County Elections Supervisor Jennifer Edwards pointed out that her county is one of five in Florida that needs Justice Department pre-approval “or pre-clearance” under the 1965 Voting Rights Act before it makes any voting changes.

“Since assuming office in 2000, it has been my practice to meticulously comply with the requirements,” she wrote last Friday. “The purpose of this letter is to inform you that due to our ‘covered’ status, I will not implement any changes resulting from the Governor’s signing of CS/CS/HB 1355 until we receive notification that the bill has beenprecleared by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

Supervisors from the other four Florida counties — Hillsborough, Monroe, Hendry and Hardee — joined Edwards in her opposition. At the same time, the state was planning to inform the five counties that they wouldn’t have to comply until the Justice Department gives its tentative “preclearance” approval, said Chris Cate, a Florida Division of Elections spokesman.

“We suggested the counties requiring preclearance wait to implement the new elections law until the DOJ has given their approval,” Cate said.

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Comments

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Jan B.

What an idiot. The law pertains to everyone. It does not state that minorities can only vote at certain times and all others have longer to vote. I swear you guys just won't give up. If this governor saved a woman from being hit by a car in the middle of the street you would spin it so it seems as though he pushed her.

Nick Smyth

This is nothing more than making sure Florida residents and U.S. citizens only are voting. You have to provide more information to get a cell phone or cable that what we require to vote. If you are not a Florida resident and U.S. citizen you have ZERO right to participate in our Florida or Federal elections. If local elections allow non-citizens and non-residents to participate, than that is their problem. Anything said to the contrary like voter intimidation or disenfranchisement etc.. is pure politics from folks that want to see America destroyed from within.

Sean

How exactly does cutting early voting days down stop people who aren't Florida residents or U.S. citizens from voting?

And I'm pretty sure poll taxes and grandfather clauses applied to everyone and still disenfranchised minorities. Good try, though.

marc oberlin

Rick Scott's home town? Ha! He has lived in Naples just long enough to be called a citizen of Florida. This creep is a carpet bagger plain and simple. He's here to do a job for his keepers and that is all. That's why he doesn't care is he's re-elected. he'll get the lock step legislature to follow orders and then move on to his next assignment. If the legislature were smart they would get it that being identified as a Scott soldier is a sure way to make sure that their own political career ends with his.

marc oberlin

btw, smaller voter turnout is good for republicans. That's why they try and squelch voting in any way they can. Did you know that 55% of provisional ballots weren't even counted in the last election? The new laws will make certain that there are more provisional ballots than ever and they will have no more time to count them and with budget cuts to elections staffs (more of Dean Cannon's genius) less people to count them in the first place. There was less than 2% attempted voter fraud in the last election. The system didn't need fixing it wasn't broken. This is just more republican bs as usual.

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