Gov. Rick Scott has yet to sign a sweeping elections bill that rewrites much of the state’s voting laws, but the measure is already having repercussions in a South Florida mayoral race – and drawing challenges from Democrats in Florida and in Washington.
Elections officials in Miami-Dade have canceled early voting hours for Sunday in anticipation that Scott will sign the bill by Saturday, his deadline for a decision. Among other things, the bill prohibits early voting three days before an election; the Miami-Dade mayoral primary is next Tuesday.
Mayoral candidate Marcelo Llorente, a former Republican legislator, sued county officials Wednesday to have the Sunday hours reinstated. The original early voting schedule was published May 5, before the Legislature passed the bill (HB 1355), and should continue as planned, he said.
“This is a fight to ensure that the people of Miami-Dade County have access to vote in the way that they were promised,” he said.
Though the bill has an overall effective date of July 1, county manager Alina Hudak wrote in a memo that her office had been advised that the early-voting portion would be effective immediately and laid out plans to end early voting as of Saturday night.