Dear Governor Crist:
In recent years, Florida has revamped its election system and regained the confidence of voters. The benefits of these improvements were seen last November when record numbers of our citizens participated in the presidential election.
You took action last fall to bolster our election system and laws by signing an executive order that extended the hours of early voting and eliminated problematic touch-screen machines.
It would be a travesty for the Florida Legislature to take actions now that would reverse our state’s progress toward making our elections more open and accessible.
Unfortunately, legislation has been proposed -- without justification -- that would disenfranchise voters and reverse much of the progress that has been made toward reforming elections in our state.
On behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, we strongly urge you to make known your opposition to House PCB-EDCA 09-08 and its Senate companion, SB956. Also, should either bill pass the Legislature in any manner similar to its current form, we would further request that you veto the legislation.
There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote and any legislation pertaining to this right deserves to be treated with extraordinary care and caution. As this bill currently reads, members of the House Democratic Caucus and numerous voter-advocacy and public interest groups find absolutely no justification for the radical changes entailed in this measure.
The flaws in this legislation are too numerous to identify completely in this correspondence, but some of the troubling impacts are that it would:
· Weaken campaign finance laws and make lawmakers less accountable to the public;
· Reduce transparency in the funding of political advertisements;
· Restrict the list of accepted forms of identification for voter registration and identification at the polls;
· Discourage voter protection efforts;
· Eliminate many voters’ ability to vote a regular ballot on Election Day;
· Hurt third-party voter registration efforts;
· Make it much harder for grassroots groups to use the citizens’ initiative process;
· Restrict nonpartisan election protection programs; and
· Limit the ability to extend early voting.
On behalf of our constituents throughout Florida, we sincerely request your urgent consideration of this matter.
Geraldine F. Thompson
Democratic Leader Pro Tempore
Also signed by:
Representative Joseph Abruzzo
Representative Leonard Bembry
Representative Debbie Boyd
Representative Mary Brandenburg
Representative Oscar Braynon, II
Representative Ronald Brisé
Representative Dwight Bullard
Representative James Bush, III
Representative Charles Chestnut, IV
Representative Gwyndolen Clark-Reed
Representative Adam Feterman
Representative Keith Fitzgerald
Representative Luis R. Garcia, Jr
Representative Joseph Gibbons
Representative Audrey Gibson
Representative Bill Heller
Representative Evan Jenne
Representative Mia Jones
Representative Martin David Kiar
Representative Rick Kriseman
Representative Janet C. Long
Representative Mark Pafford
Representative Ari Porth
Representative Kevin J.G. Rader
Representative Scott Randolph
Representative Betty Reed
Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda
Representative Yolly Roberson
Representative Hazelle Rogers
Representative Daryl Rouson
Representative Maria Lorts Sachs
Representative Ron Saunders
Representative Elaine Schwartz
Representative Michael Scionti
Representative Kelly Skidmore
Representative Darren Soto
Representative Richard Steinberg
Representative Dwayne Taylor
Representative Priscilla Taylor
Representative Perry E. Thurston, Jr.
Representative Jim Waldman
Representative Alan Williams
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Dems Oppose Elections Bill
From the House Dems:
Posted by Professor Rex at 7:45 AM