Please send all media inquiries to Christian Ulvert at firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Nurses Association Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 25, 2010
Republican Senator Villalobos Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 24, 2010
Florida Professional Firefighters Endorse Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 21, 2010
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 20, 2010
Florida PBA Endorses Gelber for Attorney General
Sep 10, 2010
View All Endorsements...
Thanks Doesn't Seem Sufficient
Nov 4, 2010
ICYMI: Karl Rove's RSLC Attempts to Hijack Elections from Voters
Oct 26, 2010
Release: New Ad Highlights Consensus from Florida Newspapers: Gelber is Clearly Better Qualified
Oct 25, 2010
Release: Bondi Turns to National Special Interests to Fuel Her Campaign
Oct 25, 2010
Statement: Gelber Comments on Sentencing of Sarasota Ponzi Schemer Arthur Nadel
Oct 22, 2010
View All Releases...
Legislature's redistricting handiwork destined for courts
Jan 16, 2012
Bill Nelson's Survival Strategy
Jan 11, 2012
Dan Gelber on exceptionalism and the old Marco Rubio
Sep 6, 2011
Who will take on Rick Scott? Charlie Crist? Alex Sink? Jeremy Ring? Rod Smith? Dan Gelber?
Jun 14, 2011
Gelber pining for Jeb Bush
May 31, 2011
View All Articles...
GOP's law created long voting lines
Oct 24, 2008
St Pete Times
The pictures of early voters on TV look like crowds waiting to ride Space Mountain.
Hour after hour, people stand in line for the "convenience" of early voting. The National Campaign for Fair Elections says a three-hour wait is a big problem, but Secretary of State Kurt Browning says it's a sign of a healthy democracy.
In frustration, some voters fault election supervisors for too few sites or machines. But there's a bigger culprit — the Legislature.
Three years ago, legislators passed a huge elections bill (HB 1567). Some changes were voter-friendly, such as allowing anyone to request an absentee ballot without having to give a reason why.
The bill also limited early voting to eight hours a day, and to no more than eight hours on a weekend. That did away with 12-hour early voting sessions for people who work long hours.
The law also limited early voting sites to elections offices, libraries and city halls even though elections officials wanted to use other sites.
Democratic legislators voted against the bill and suspected the shorter hours were a Republican plot to suppress the Democratic turnout.
"Not true," the sponsor, Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, said Friday. "The whole purpose behind it was to have uniformity."
Every GOP lawmaker from Tampa Bay voted for the bill, including some on the Nov. 4 ballot: Sens. Mike Fasano and Charlie Dean and Reps. Faye Culp and John Legg, to name a few. Every Democrat in the bay area voted against it.
Now, as his constituents stand in line for hours to vote, Rep. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat, says the early voting change was no accident.
"They did it on purpose," Gelber said. "This was a rank antidemocracy power grab."
All nine Democrats in the state's congressional delegation sent Browning a letter, urging him to expand early voting hours next week and to require the early voting sites to be open Sunday. Browning says he has no plans "at this time" to do so, and it is not clear that he has that power.
As of Thursday, 609,000 people voted early. Democrats had a big lead, further evidence that Democrats are more likely to vote early while Republicans tend to request absentee ballots more.
In a conference call between Browning and county elections officials Friday, Lee County Supervisor Sharon Harrington said the Legislature should allow more sites.
Guess who lives in Lee County? Reagan's parents. He said they have delayed voting early because of long lines.
"We're still making it easier to vote than it was 20 years ago," Reagan said, "but if we can continue to improve it, we should."
Florida has something called the "early voting wait time clock." Supervisors in Miami-Dade and Broward now list expected wait times on their Web sites.
In Broward, home of the longest ballot and the most Democrats of any county in Florida, the wait was four hours at Miramar City Hall on Friday.
Browning wants more counties to use it. "That is an innovative idea," he said.
Steve Bousquet can be reached at email@example.com or (850) 224-7263.