Bill to provide a paper trail for Florida elections gets sidetracked04/26/07 Mitch E. Perry
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In January, Governor Charlie Crist thrilled critics of electronic voting machines when he announced he was proposing over $32 million dollars to move the state towards a paper trail based system of voting.
But those same advocates are now extremely worried that those plans may now be thwarted by changes made by Republican Senators in The legislature earlier this week.
Pamela Haengel is the President of the Voting Integrity Alliance of Tampa Bay.
She says that Amendments voted on earlier this week has now changed what the original intent of Crist’s plan was about (roll tape#1 o.q.”on this issue”)
Rich Templin with the Florida AFL-CIO. He describes some of the 14 surprise amendments introduced by Senate Republicans (roll tape#2 o.q.”to everybody”)
The Senate added provisions to the legislation that would impose fines against 3rd party groups that register voters and do not quickly turn over forms to election officials.
That’s similar to a law that was passed 2 years ago, but was struck down by a court and remains on appeal. The League of Women Voters President, Dianne Wheatley-Gilliotti says that the League DOES supports the Charlie Crist led legislation, because the League wants a paper trail. But that’s with reservations.
She says that failing to turn in voter registration forms in a timely matter will be extremely challenging for the League (roll tape#3 o.q.”to offer more staff”)
Another change was an amendment that requires organizations, like unions, to report all dues-related contributions to their political affiliate, which would force unions to identify publicly all of their members.
Rich Templin with the Florida AFL-CIO says his group is all for transparency, however (roll tape#4 o.q. “real problems with that”)
Such amendments can now doom the dream of advocates of a paper trail that Governor Crist’s announcement in January could all go for naught . Again, Pamela Haengel (roll tape#5 o.q.”without that leadership”)