States are gearing up for another battle over ballot access, and Florida, a key swing state, could again find itself in the middle. Florida’s next legislative session could be marked by fights over absentee ballots, online registration and early voting sites. Earlier this year, state lawmakers eased some voting restrictions enacted in 2011. Those restrictions, including a reduction in early voting days, had helped snuff out voter registration drives and contributed to lines as long as seven hours on Election Day in 2012. Now, a key Democrat in Florida’s House of Representatives wants the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to go further by making it easier for residents to register and vote.
Rep. Alan Williams of Tallahassee would like to see the state allow voter registration on the Internet, add more more government sites to the list of locations available for early voting, and allow citizens to register and cast ballots the same day.
“The question is, why aren’t we doing more to expand the opportunity to vote?” he said Wednesday in Washington. “We need to be doing more. We can’t have a typewriter mentality in an iPad world.”
Williams made his comments after attending a summit organized by the Voting Rights Project that drew Democratic state legislators from more than 20 states. They brainstormed about ballot-friendly legislation they want to introduce, and strategies to implement them in chambers run by the GOP.