Read that same article when I was looking into just what the changes were people were saying were so "disenfranchising" - bunk. The first three are all a matter of personal responsibility. Allowing a name or address change on election day both slows up the voting process and leaves open chances of fraud. But the main problem is slowing up the process. If it wasn't important enough to you to take care of these changes prior to election day - tough. If 8 days are not enough to early vote, vote absentee. No hardship here. Already addressed the signature issue. Again, every one of them are issues of personal responsibility.<quoted text>
Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.
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Forces Provisional Ballots: The bill eliminates a long-standing provision that allows people to change their address or name at the polls. For four decades, Florida allowed those with proper photo ID whose name or address had changed due to marriage, or divorce, or a move by a military family to update that information on Election Day. Under HB 1355, those changes would only be allowed for voters moving within the same county. Otherwise, a voter will not have to cast a provisional ballot and later provide identification to the supervisor of elections. As one Florida supervisor of elections told the Florida Independent, the provision is disturbing as provisional ballots are often reserved for close races and thus go uncounted.
Cuts Early Voting: HB 1355 also cuts the time for early voting from 14 days to eight. The early voting reform was among former Gov. Charlie Crists (R-FL) election reforms to prevent embarrassments like the 2000 election. As the Miami Heralds Joy-Ann Reid notes,It was a hard-won victory for working people who sometimes cant get to the polls if they work odd hours, or run out of time to resolve a problem at the polls. According to Reid, in 2008, black churches and college students took full advantage of the extra time two groups that overwhelmingly voted for President Obama.
Invalidates Absentee Ballots: The bill severely undercuts the absentee ballot. Under this bill, absentee ballots are determined illegal if the voters signature on the certificate does not match the signature on record. As the Herald-Tribune notes, this will affect voters who suffer from arthritis, strokes and other ailments that affect their handwriting. Those who fail to update their signatures in time would be out of luck. The bill states that, if elections results are contested, a court cannot consider any evidence other than the signatures on the voters certificate and the signature of the elector in the registration records in determining the ballots validity.
Fines Third Party Voting Groups: Third-party voter registration groups, such as the non-partisan League of Women voters, the NAACP, and the Boy Scouts are also targeted by HB 1355 by requiring these groups to turn in registration cards within 48 hours of signature or face fines. Voter groups note that the requirement would be difficult to meet if they are registering thousands of voters at a time. Because of the undue burden this provision places on thousands of volunteers, the League of Women Voters an organization with a 91-year history of registering and educating voters announced today that it will cease [its] voter registration efforts in this state should HB 1355 become law
The only change that wasn't aimed at personal responsibility is the 3rd party registration. That is a logical restriction to keep 3rd party groups from holding on to large numbers of registrations and dumping them massive numbers on the registration offices. Don't see the problem.