Huffpost Politics

Florida Early Voting Changes Rejected By Federal Court

Posted: Updated:
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A federal court on Thursday gave five Florida counties four extra days of early voting in this fall's elections.

The Republican-controlled Florida legislature last year cut the state's number of early-voting days to 8 from 12. But the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the changes won't happen in Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough and Monroe counties, which are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

That section requires election changes to be cleared by federal officials or federal judges. The states covered under Section 5 are mostly in the South and all have a history of discriminating against blacks, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives or Hispanics.

The three-judge panel said Thursday that the reduction in early voting days in those counties "would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot." But the 119-page ruling did say there were ways Florida could change its early voting practices that would not adversely impact minority voting rights.

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the changes into law last year, called that part of the decision "encouraging."

Also on HuffPost:

7 Ways You Could Be Disenfranchised
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Federal court rejects Florida early voting changes

Rick Scott Strikes Out Again: Federal Court Blocks Florida Attack On Early Voting

Federal court says early voting cutback could hurt blacks

Federal Court Reinstates Early Voting Days In Parts Of Florida

Florida judge dumps early voting limits in some counties

Black Vote: Federal Court Reinstates 4 Early Voting Days in 5 Florida Counties

Voting Early Getting Harder in Florida

Early Voting in 2012: What to Expect

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote