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Civil rights group looks to boost voter education and community involvement listen

06/27/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Dream Defenders, Voting rights, Voting, civil rights, police brutality, The Bloc is ours

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It’s been 50 years since the civil rights movement’s Freedom Summer where activists fought for voting rights. A national group called the Dream Defenders is commemorating the anniversary with its own project called “The Bloc is ours”.

WMNF News spoke with Alekos Zambrano, the Bloc leader in Hillsborough County.

A local office for the freedom schools will open on July 19.

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Vote by Mail: Where does it come from and where does it end up? listen

04/29/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: vote by mail, absentee ballots, mail in ballots, Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Voting

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Ever wonder what happens to a mail in ballot after it’s dropped off at the post office? In Hillsborough County, that ballot gets shipped off to the Supervisor of Election’s office on Falkenburg Road where it’s passed through a giant machine that reads voters’ signatures.

“We then take a picture of that signature so we can compare it electronically so that we don’t have ballots all over the office and then after everything is verified, they’re then sorted into precinct order.”

Hillsbor...

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NAACP calls on restoration of rights for "returning citizens"

01/10/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: NAACP, Yvette Lewis, restoration of rights, Voting, Voting rights

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Florida is one of three states with laws on the books severely limiting the ability of ex-felons to restore their civil rights, including the right to vote.

A "less severe" convicted felon must wait five years after completing his sentence, all probation and paid any applicable fines or restitution. In addition, the person must remain not only conviction-free, but not get arrested even if it doesn't result in charges.

The NAACP is trying to change the law in Florida so that ex-felons, o...

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Sen. Bill Nelson blasts Gov. Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner for absentee voting change listen

12/03/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Bill Nelson, Craig Latimer, voter supression, Deborah Clark, 13th Congressional District, Rick Scott, Ken Detzner, elections, Voting

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, is rallying behind Supervisors of Elections who say they will not adhere to a directive issued by Florida’s Secretary of State to only accept mail in ballots at official offices. During a press conference at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa Tuesday, Nelson said the move will put undue hardship on voters who increasingly prefer dropping off mail-in ballots in person.

Florida Secretary of State [Ken Detzner](http://www.dos.state.fl.us/oss/secretary-...

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Florida Secretary of State outlines plan for new purge of ineligible names from voter rolls listen

10/04/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Voting, Ken Detzner, Voter Purge, undocumented immigrants, disenfranchisement

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Undeterred by criticism that Florida is targeting minority voters, the state's top election official is kicking off an effort to win over skeptical election supervisors about a revived plan to remove non-U.S. citizens from the state's voter rolls.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner met with county election officials Friday. He tried to reassure them that this year's effort to identify voters will go more smoothly than the 2012 attempt that drew lawsuits and fierce criticism.

We played audi...

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Researchers find Florida's election law disproportionately hurt minority voters listen

01/17/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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An elections law passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Scott two years ago disproportionately reduced the opportunity of African American voters to have their voices heard in the November 2012 election.

That’s one of the findings by researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Florida outlined in their report called “[Florida’s 2012 General Election Under HB 1355: Early Voting, Provisional Ballots, and Absentee Ballots.](http://library.constantcon...

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League of Women Voters of Florida suggests elections law changes listen

01/14/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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In a letter sent Friday to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the League of Women Voters of Florida laid out suggestions for improving the state’s elections. We spoke with their president, Deirdre Macnab.

Meanwhile, Florida elections supervisors want lawmakers to be less wordy when they put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. They also want greater flexibility in setting...

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Charlie Crist joins Democrats to suggest changes to Florida voting bill listen

11/14/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Election Day was last Tuesday, but because of long lines the last voter in Miami didn’t turn their ballot in until Wednesday. At a press conference in downtown Tampa this morning Former Governor Charlie Crist said he saw the headline-making lines in South Florida first hand and something needs to be done about it.

“What I saw in Miami Gardens during early voting and Miami-Dade County and also in Aventura, were lines where people were waiting four, five, six hours and it’s just uncon...

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Four presidential candidates will debate Tuesday night

10/23/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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All other presidential candidates besides Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were excluded from Monday's debate. But on their website, Democracy Now! gave three other presidential candidates a chance to respond to the same questions. The Green Party’s Jill Stein and the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson participated, but Libertarian Gary Johnson declined Democracy ...

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Is the right to vote a human right? listen

10/17/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to vote is a human right; but many people in the United States are denied the right to vote for a range of reasons.

Tonight at the University of Tampa a panel will discuss the human right to vote in the context of what some are calling voter suppression laws around the country.

One panelist, Jamil Dakwar, is director of the ACLU’s Human Right’s Program in New York.

"Well, voting rights have been recognized for y...

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