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Florida: keep those lawyers away from the voters

The New York Times reports: Republican lawmakers, who control both houses of the Legislature, have proposed sweeping changes to the state’s election laws, including new procedures on registering voters, and requiring voters to use a provisional ballot if they move shortly before an election.

The rules would also prevent anyone, including those with video or audio equipment, from getting within 100 feet of a line of voters, even if that line is outside a polling place. This would also prevent anyone from offering legal advice to voters in line.

State Senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla, a Republican from Miami and sponsor of the legislation, said the changes were a response to complaints and problems in the 2008 elections. ...

Elizabeth Westfall, a senior lawyer with the Advancement Project, a voting rights group, predicted that the measure would shut down voter-registration drives in Florida by outside groups like the N.A.A.C.P. The legislation would require voter-registration groups to turn in applications within 48 hours after they are first filled out. --

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