FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2013
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, media@aclufl.org, (786) 363-2737

TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Florida Senate Rules Committee passed CS/CS/SB 600, which makes changes to the way in which elections are handled in the state in the wake of the 2012 election, but comes short of many of the reforms advocated by voting rights advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida. The Rules Committee was the final stop for the bill before heading to the Senate floor.

The following statement may be attributed to Howard Simon, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida:

“If 2011 was the year of voter suppression in the Florida legislature, 2013 may well be remembered as the year of missed opportunities.

“The elections bill which just passed its last committee tries to hit the ‘sweet spot’ of doing just enough to address the anger of voters over the mess that the Legislature made of last year’s elections, but no more.

“Our state’s election system is broken, and the fiasco of the 2012 election made that embarrassingly apparent to the entire world. Real elections reform must begin with fixing the problems which the legislature created in 2011 with the Voter Suppression Act. Floridians deserve an elections bill that uniformly allows for voting on both weekends before Election Day, that limits the length of ballot language for all proposed amendments, and that fixes the confusion around address changes that caused so many to lose their opportunity to participate in our democratic process.

“While we are pleased that the legislature is taking on the problems which have kept Floridians from making their voices heard, a ‘less-unfair’ election system is not the same as a fair system. Our lawmakers had an opportunity to deliver real reform that restores the foundation of our democracy and makes elections fair for all of us: they may have just let it slip away.”

More information on the ACLU of Florida’s work on voting rights is available here: http://aclufl.org/issues/voting-rights/

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