The Florida Senate is poised to pass an election reform inspired by last year’s criticized elections, but will likely do so without the votes of minority-party Democrats who object the fix doesn’t completely solve all the problems that led to long lines and late vote counts. Though there are some difference between the House and Senate bills (SB 600/HB 7013), both would give elections supervisors discretion to hold between eight and 14 days or early voting, and allow early voting on the Sunday before a general election.
Supervisors would be allowed to use more locations, like convention centers, for early voting sites. And each would impose some restrictions on the length of legislatively drawn ballot initiatives.
But Democrats on the Senate floor Tuesday claimed the bill didn’t go far enough. However, a series of amendments — to further restrict how many words lawmakers could use in ballot summaries, further expand the number of early voting sites, remove a provision of the 2011 election reform that requires voters to cast provisional ballots if they move to a new county and don’t change their address, and mandate that all supervisors have early voting on the final Sunday before an election – were defeated.