Federal court looks at early voting law
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Aug. 22, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug. 22, 2012
NAPLES, Fla. - A federal court has sorted through part of Florida's new election law that would have reduced the number of early voting days across the state.
Four in Your Corner's Julie Salomone is breaking down the court's decision and tells us what this means to voters in Collier County.
The legislature passed the law last year and it cuts early voting days from 2 weeks to just 8 days.
In 5 counties including Hendry and Collier County, any changes to the election law can't take place until it's cleared by the Department of Justice or by the courts since the mid '70s those counties have been under federal jurisdiction to prevent any discrimination toward minority voters.
A three judge panel is now deciding the law is constitutional if the counties stay open for the maximum 12 hours a day. This means early voting would be for 8 days, 12 hours per day with a total of 96 hours. 96 hours is the same amount of hours as the old law.
"The latest federal court decision on this basically says if the counties pledges to do full 96 hours
court would not likely find it retrogressive and approve it," said Tim Durham, Collier County's chief deputy supervisor of election.
Collier County is willing to adjust. Supervisor of Elections Office says they want to see early voting become uniform across the state. If all counties agree, it's most likely the federal court would approve the change some time in September.