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Dennis Baxley, Sponsor Of Strict Florida Voting Law, Admits No Widespread Fraud (VIDEO)

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The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/08/11 11:15 AM ET Updated: 12/23/11 04:08 PM ET

A sponsor of Florida's new strict voting law defended the legislation on MSNBC on Wednesday, telling host Al Sharpton it was imperative to protect the election from "mishap and mischief."

Under questioning from Sharpton, State Rep. Dennis Baxley (R) admitted Florida has not experienced widespread election fraud, and framed the new law as a preventive measure. "We don't want to wait until voter fraud," he said. "We are going to have very close elections in Florida. We have people here from all over the world, all over the country."

The new law would reduce early voting dates and curtail where and when people can register to vote. It has been criticized by the NAACP for making it more difficult for minority communities to vote.

Sharpton questioned the need for more restrictive laws, noting that there has only been 31 cases of alleged voter fraud in the past three years. Baxley said it doesn't matter. "We have to have credible results in close elections," he said. "Did you know Mickey Mouse register to vote last time?"

Baxley defended the intent of the law, despite Sharpton's blistering critique. "It's going to be a better system," he said. "I don't apologize for the legislature protecting this process."

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