ACLU Urges Gov. Crist to Veto HB 131; Bill Would Further Disfranchise Voters With Disabilities

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
May 7, 2010 12:00 am

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida sent a letter to Governor Charlie Crist this morning urging him to veto a damaging piece of legislation – HB 131. The bill would delay by an additional four years – until 2016 – the right of voters with disabilities to vote on reliable paper ballot voting machines. This is a full eight years after legislation – praised by Governor Crist in 2007 – gave that right to all other Florida voters.

The technology, which is already available, was supposed to be deployed for voters with disabilities in 2012, four years after most voters began using voting systems that provide a paper trail.

“All voters – including voters with disabilities – should be able to vote knowing that their votes will be accurately recorded and counted,” said Muslima Lewis, senior attorney and Director of the ACLU of Florida’s Voting Rights and Racial Justice Projects. “The state is relegating voters with disabilities to a second-class voting status—essentially saying ‘your vote doesn’t count as much as everyone else’s.’

“The technology exists to bring everyone on board with paper ballot voting systems. The governor’s veto of HB 131 will bring increased integrity to Florida elections, and protect the right to vote for all Floridians,” added Lewis.

The full text of the ACLU’s letter is below, or you can download a PDF of the letter to Gov. Crist here:

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