The Florida Senate on Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that requires the state to create an online voter registration application by 2017. The 34 to 3 vote sends the bill to the House, where passage is also expected, despite strong opposition from Gov. Rick Scott’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner. To underscore bipartisan support for online voter registration, the Senate’s Republican leadership left a Democratic senator as the bill’s sponsor. The bill (SB 228) is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. Three Republican senators voted no.
Detzner has spoken in opposition to the bill at three legislative stops, twice in the Senate and once in the House, which raises the obvious question of whether Scott would veto it if it gets to his desk.
Scott has not stated a position. But in February, when he dropped an appeal of a federal court ruling that said a 2012 noncitizen voter purge was illegal, Scott issued this statement: “Our goal continues to be 100 percent participation by eligible voters and zero percent fraud. Florida voters deserve an election system they can be proud of.”
The Senate bill requires Detzner to send an implementation plan to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2016, and appropriates $1.8 million for the project, which must be fully implemented by Oct. 1, 2017.