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House tweaks online voter registration bill; Senate likes change

The Florida House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill to create an online voter registration portal by 2017, and added a wrinkle that delayed final passage. The House vote was 109-9, and followed an equally lopsided 34-3 Senate vote on Monday.

Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, added a "data security" amendment to the bill that requires the state to test the system before implementing it and to conduct a new test every two years.

Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said Grant's amendment was not necessary because those precautions would be imposed bureaucratically. "In short, not needed," Corley said in text messages to legislators.

But Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, sponsor of the bill (SB 228), told reporters he supported the House amendment and that the Senate would agree to it, sending the bill to the governor for his signature.

"It provides more security so I'm fine with it," Clemens said. "There are some members in the House who have some reservations about how we've run technology in this state, and they just want to give a little more assurance to getting it done properly."

All nine no House votes were cast by Republicans: Reps. Dane Eagle, Matt Gaetz, Clay Ingram, Debbie Mayfield, Larry Metz, Lake Ray, David Santiago, Greg Steube and John Tobia

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