The Voting News Daily: Florida GOP stacks the election deck, Minnesota House Speaker admits that voting is a right after all

FL: Election bills rap democracy: Public short-served by GOP legislation – OrlandoSentinel.com

Time to stop calling the gang running Florida’s government conservative. They’re busy concocting a liberal dose of new regulations that would serve their fortunes first, and Floridians dead last. It amounts to their ripping apart election laws that have made it easier for Floridians to vote, and replacing them with laws that could stack the deck — election outcomes — in the Republicans’ favor. Forget for the moment that Republicans already control two-thirds of the Legislature. And the governor’s office. And the Cabinet. And 19 of Florida’s 25 congressional seats. The Legislature has forgotten all of that. If Republican lawmakers manage to reconcile the House elections bill that passed on Thursday with the Senate elections bill that’s expected to pass next week, they’ll have pressed their advantage by giving Floridians… Far less time to vote. By most measures, the state’s two-week early voting procedure has been fabulously successful, with about one-in-five voters opting for it. Full Article

MN: Voting is indeed a right, Zellers agrees after radio show error | StarTribune.com

House Speaker Kurt Zellers found himself in a constitutional bind on Thursday after saying that voting was a privilege, not a right. The Maple Grove Republican made the comment Wednesday night during a local radio show, “The Late Debate.” He recanted his words on Thursday, saying he had misspoken. The gaffe came amid a discussion of legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. That bill is nearing a vote after months of hearings. “When you go to even a Burger King or a McDonalds and use your debit card, they’ll ask you to see your ID,” Zellers said sometime after 11 p.m. “Should we have to do that when we vote, something that is one of the most sacred — I think it’s a privilege, it’s not a right. Everybody doesn’t get it, because if you go to jail or if you commit some heinous crime your rights are taken away. This is a privilege.” The right to vote is explicitly referenced in several constitutional amendments, in addition to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “I fully understand it’s a right we all have,” Zellers said on Thursday. “I probably should have said it a little bit better at that late hour at night.” His comments drew a quick rebuke from DFLers, some of whom believe the voter ID legislation will hinder seniors and college students from voting. Full Article

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