The Florida Senate passed a massive overhaul of state election law by a 25-13 vote Thursday that would make changes to early voting, limit a voter’s ability to change his or her address or name at the polls and set up a presidential primary committee.
Democrats argued against the legislation though and said it would disenfranchise voters, particularly college students who frequently take advantage of the registration changes at the polls because they move so often. “We have young people who would love to register to vote,” said Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami.
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, the sponsor of the bill, said it’s “about making every vote count” and rooting out fraud. “The fact is there’s a lot of bad actors out there and there’s an opportunity currently to game the system,” he said.
The bill would cut the time for early voting from 14 days to eight. Local supervisors of elections could keep their early voting sites open anywhere from six hours to 12 hours per day. That would allow a maximum of 96 hours of early voting — the same number allowed today, but over fewer days.