Florida League of Women Voters

MSNBC

The American Civil Liberties Union is vowing to plow $5 million into a felon  rights initiative now that organizers have cleared initial Florida Supreme Court review

USA Today

Education advocates went to court this week to argue that Florida isn’t complying with a 20-year-old constitutional mandate to provide a “uniform” and “high quality” education. But the legal tug of war is raising questions about the power of petition drives to effect meaningful change.  

Tom Hagerty

Floridians now have until the end of the day Tuesday October 18 to get signed up to vote. A federal judge Wednesday extended the state’s voter registration deadline.

Activists Butt Heads Over Alimony Bill

Apr 12, 2016
Gerard Van der Leun/ flickr / http://www.flickr.com/photos/1000photosofnewyorkcity

Time is running out for a bill that would overhaul alimony, prompting activists to hold dueling rallies at the capitol Tuesday.

Florida lawmakers redraw congressional districts August 10.
Erik Hersman via Flickr

The Legislature will begin its special session next week, but drafting of the base map—the session’s starting point—has already begun.  Voting rights groups are upset it isn’t happening in public.

Before and After: The image on the left depicts congressional district 5 before the proposed changes.  The small yellow circles indicate the changes in Marion county.
Select Committee on Redistricting

The Florida Supreme Court has thrown out the state’s congressional districts, saying they’re unconstitutional. The Court’s ruling marks the second time the state’s congressional maps have been invalidated.

Florida League of Women Voters urge to ban guns on college campuses.
Scott Beale via Flickr

The Florida League of Women Voters is urging the Legislature to keep guns off college campuses. The move comes in the wake of Monday’s shooting at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Fla. 

The League says the shooting at Bethune-Cookman University raises its concern to another level. Three students suffered minor injuries during the incident. League President Deirdre Macnab says guns on any college campus is bad for safety.  

MGN Online

Lawmakers in the Florida House and Senate have filed bills this week that would let citizens sign up to vote online. The online voter registration bill is a priority for the Florida League of Women Voters.

LWV

The Florida League of Women Voters  has listed a bill that would let people sign up to vote electronically as one of its top three priorities for the legislative session this year. 

League President Deirdre Macnab says electronic voter registration is better by far than the current pen and paper version. 

Cantero (left) speaking after the hearing.
Nick Evans

Florida is not responsible for the lion's share of costs associated with the fight over its congressional borders after a judge's ruling Thursday.  Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled plaintiffs can recover a portion of their legal costs, but he pointedly left out attorneys' fees.

Before and After: The image on the left depicts congressional district 5 before the proposed changes.  The small yellow circles indicate the changes in Marion county.
Select Committee on Redistricting

More challenges to Florida’s recently redrawn congressional districts are winding through the judicial system. Now a divided appeals court wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide if the state's newest congressional map is legal.

Florida lawmakers redrew seven of the state’s 27 congressional districts in August after a judge determined the old map had been gerrymandered. A coalition of groups who had sued over the original map say the new version isn’t much better. And Democratic lawmakers claim Republicans left them out of the redrawing process.

Florida Supreme Court

Three proposed state constitutional amendment are slated for Florida’s November ballot. So far most of the media and the public’s attention has been paid to two of them. But the one proposal that could have the most impact on state policy, is the one many people are overlooking.

Some political watchers say Florida is heading toward a crisis in the judicial system.

Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

Florida’s 67 election supervisors are calling on the legislature to move voter registration online.

In a report issued Tuesday the supervisors say the online system should go into effect after the 2016 general election.  League of Women Voters of Florida President Diedre McNabb says her group is pleased with the supervisors’ support, but not quite so much with the timeline.              

Florida Supreme Court

Three proposed state constitutional amendment are slated for Florida’s November ballot.

So far most of the attention has been paid to two of them. Amendment Three, is asking voters to decide which person—an incoming, our outgoing governor, gets to pick district judges and Supreme Court Justices. The issue is coming up now because four current state Supreme Court Justices are term-limited.

The Florida Education Association, Florida School Board Association and a coalition of other groups want the state courts to do away with the corporate tax scholarship program.

FEA Vice President Joanne McCall sums up her group’s argument against the state’s school voucher program like this:

“People have a choice. If they want they can put their kids in private schools. That’s their right. But it’s not the public’s responsibility.”

League of Women Voters attorney David King arguing at Wednesday's hearing.  The League vows to continue its fight.
Nick Evans

Lawmakers, lawyers and the League of Women voters converged on a Leon County Courtroom this week to argue the merits of Florida’s newly revised congressional districts.  The judge has upheld the new map, but the fight seems likely to continue.

League of Women Voters attorney David King arguing at Wednesday's hearing.  The League vows to continue its fight.
Nick Evans

The League of Women Voters is not impressed with the revised congressional map passed by the Florida Legislature just over a week ago.  The voting rights group argued against the changes Wednesday in court. 

League attorney David King says the Legislature’s redistricting effort did as little as possible to address the court’s order to fix the so-called “appendages” and the compactness of Districts 5 and 10 – something the judge says indicated an intent to favor the incumbent.  King says the Legislature didn’t do enough, especially in District 5.

The League says congressional districts passed Monday don't do enough.
Florida Senate

Florida’s Legislature may have approved new congressional districts Monday, but critics say the question is far from settled.  The League of Women Voters claims the revision does not address the issues that sent the old map to court in the first place.

After Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ordered Florida lawmakers to redraw the congressional district map, the Florida League of Women Voters was ecstatic.  But League President Deirdre McNabb says the Legislature’s special session was a farce.

Districts 5 and 10 on this map were declared unconstitutional earlier this month.
National Atlas of the United States via Wikimedia Commons

Government officials say it’s too close to Election Day to make alterations to Florida’s recently-invalidated congressional districts, but the coalition of voting rights groups fired back Thursday.

The League of Women Voters say change is not impossible, and the 2014 election should not proceed without first redrawing Florida’s voting map – even if that means delaying the election. 

Andrew Bret Wallis / Getty Images

Today, there’s no Florida law on the books to protect pregnant women from workplace discrimination. For months, the Florida Supreme Court grappled with that decision, and Thursday, they ruled employers can’t discriminate against pregnant women under the state’s civil rights act. But, one lawmaker says that still needs to be codified in state law.

For more than 30 years, pregnancy has been protected from employer discrimination under federal law. But, in the Sunshine state, it’s a different story.

DMV.org

A Democratic lawmaker has re-filed a bill seeking to automatically register Florida voters, and some say strengthening the state’s motor voter law is a step in the right direction.

Currently, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles officials are supposed to ask eligible residents getting or renewing their driver’s license if they would like to register to vote. But, Florida League of Women Voters President Deirdre Macnab says that’s often not the case.

LWV

The League of Women Voters of Florida is naming key areas where they believe the State fell short during the 2012 election.  The League released its suggestions on Thursday for improving Florida election laws.

The League said African-American voters, specifically during early and absentee voting, were disenfranchised under the elections rules the Florida Legislature passed in 2011.  The group’s President, Deidre Macnab, said the state’s policies are making Florida look bad.

Groups Call For Elections Reform

Nov 20, 2012
R.Benk / WFSU-FM

Protesters gathered at the Capitol Tuesday to help ensure elections reform would be at the front of lawmaker’s minds. Members from the NAACP, The League of Women Voters, and The Alliance of Retired people say no one should have to stand in line for hours to vote.

The group stood outside the chambers with signs in hand and bandanas around their mouths to symbolize what they call the suppression of their voice. But, one member of the coalition, Cynthia Gardner-Williams, wasn’t shy about explaining why she had come to Florida’s Capitol Tuesday.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

There are several complaints in Florida about early voting lines forcing people to wait three to four hours before casting their votes. Voting groups and Democrats are calling on Florida Governor Rick Scott to extend the early voting hours.

Barbara King is on her work break, and had plans to vote early. But, as she looks at the long line circling around the Leon County Courthouse building, her only thought is:

“Oh my God! I don’t know if I want to wait that long! I still have to go pick up my grandbabies.”

The League of Women Voters of Florida says they’re hearing complaints by the thousands over Florida’s proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. The organization's President Deirdre Macnab says the Florida Legislature is to blame for all the confusion.

Macnab says her organization has received more than a thousand calls from confused voters, frustrated by the “lengthy summaries and misleading names” of the 11 constitutional amendments on the ballot:

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