Florida League of Women Voters


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:

Sascha Cordner

Florida’s voter registration numbers for both Republicans and Democrats stagnated over the course of about a year, and political experts say it’s mainly because of a law passed last year that put limits on third party voter registration. But, now that some of those restrictions have eased, there’s a mad dash around the state to ramp up voter registration drives before the October 9th deadline.

“House Bill 1355 certainly had a dampening effect on voter registration in the state of Florida, when it went into effect July 1, 2011.”

Sascha Cordner

With the deadline fast approaching for Floridians to get registered to vote, a new campaign kicked off Tuesday to get people signed up and make sure that when they vote, they’re educated about the issues on the ballot. It’s a non-partisan effort that brings together two groups that were, just months ago, battling in federal court over Florida’s election law.

A federal judge has blocked Florida elections officials from enforcing  part of Florida’s new controversial election law until a trial can be held.

Despite lingering questions about the constitutionality of Florida’s new voting district maps, Officials say they expect all the of the maps to stay the way they are for the 2012 election cycle.

A Circuit Court Judge has ruled the congressional voting district map drawn by lawmakers this year will be the one used for the coming elections, despite questions raised about its constitutionality. And Regan McCarthy reports, the Federal Department of Justice has given Pre-clearance to all of the state’s new voting district maps.

The League of Women Voters recognized the National Equal Pay Day by holding a Tuesday luncheon in Tallahassee. As Sascha Cordner reports, the organization wants to raise awareness about the lingering wage gap between men and women.

Equal Pay Day falls on April 17th, and this year, it commemorates how many extra days women would have to work into 2012 to catch up to how much their male counterparts earned in 2011.

Florida’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the state’s new voting district plans Wednesday . Regan McCarthy reports the justices grilled supporters and opponents of the maps giving no clear indication of how they might rule. 

Battle lines are being drawn in Florida. Democrats filed a lawsuit against a congressional redistricting map immediately after it was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.  The Democrats contend that map and ones approved for the Florida House and Senate    violate new anti-gerrymandering standards. And James Call tells us, they and non-partisan groups that worked to pass the new law say the maps are attempts to circumvent the law and manipulate the political process.  

The Florida Senate has signed off on new voting district maps, and they are now headed to a judicial review. Democrats have long claimed the state’s new elections law and current process of redistricting are an attempt to block them from having any substantial influence in Florida politics. Republicans hold super-majorities in both chambers of the legislature, and have full control of the Cabinet. Now, as Lynn Hatter reports, the minority party is making a case that the majority party is engaging in voter suppression and gerrymandering.