While a proposal to expand the number of early voting days and limit the length of a ballot passed in a House subcommittee on Wednesday, Democrats said it will need change if it is to garner bipartisan support. The measure (PCB EES 13-01) would allow supervisors to increase the number of early-voting days to 14, though they could remain at the current standard of eight. It would also limit some ballot summaries for legislatively-sponsored constitutional amendments to 75 words, a standard that already applies to citizen initiatives. However, if the Legislature approved more than one summary for an amendment as a fallback to deal with court challenges, only the first would be subject to the 75-world limit. And if the attorney general were required to rewrite a flawed ballot summary, that revision would also not fall under the new rules.
The unanimous vote only happened after Democrats withdrew nine amendments, dealing with everything from making Election Day a holiday to the automatic registration of voters. They did that in part based on assurances from Republicans that the majority party would consider altering the bill later.
“But today, this is a good start,” said House Ethics and Elections Subcommittee Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton.
After sponsoring five of the amendments, Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, pointed to the promise of bipartisanship.