voting rights

Florida’s campaign to restore voting rights to felons is gathering national media attention, and national financing. Now activists are trying to focus that energy to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. WFSU reports on the grassroots campaign to gather 1 million signatures before the end of the year.

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again declined to reinstate North Carolina's strict voter ID law, which was struck down last year after a court ruled it was intentionally designed to stop African-Americans from voting.

The nation's highest court refused to consider an appeal by North Carolina Republicans, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

"Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court's refusal to consider an appeal did not signify an opinion on the merits of the case," Fessler says.

An attempt to restore felons’ voting rights in Florida is getting a national boost this week. Comedian Samantha Bee of the TBS show Full Frontal sat down with Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Meade is behind a proposed ballot initiative that would automatically restore civil rights to felons. Here’s a portion of Bee’s segment.

Fewer felons are getting their voting rights restored under Governor Rick Scott than in the past two administrations. Attorney Brittnie Baker said Scott has denied her clients the right to once again vote because of traffic violations or admitting they drank or used drugs.

When Estelle Schultz, 98, sealed her ballot for the 2016 election, she wanted to snap a photo to commemorate.

She sent it to her granddaughter Sarah Benor, who says she was moved to post the picture on Facebook. Like many posts during this election, it went viral.

Ahead of Election Day next week, election officials around the country are checking and double-checking their equipment to make sure the results are calculated accurately.

Those officials are under increased scrutiny this year with Donald Trump and his allies claiming the voting system could be "rigged" in favor of Democrats. So election administrators around the country are opening the doors to the public to show off the multiple layers of safeguards in the ballot-counting process.

Thinking of memorializing your vote for the upcoming presidential election? You might want to think twice about that.

Florida is one of 18 states where it's illegal to take a selfie with your mail-in ballot or while you're in the voting booth.

Rebekah Entralgo / WLRN

Members and pastors of the community's black churches gathered together in Miami Gardens on Sunday to go to participate in "Souls to the Polls," a nationwide initiative to increase voter participation in the upcoming election.

Betty T. Ferguson park was much more than a park that afternoon. Music was playing and the smell of barbeque was in the air as local pastors and their congregations arrived by the busload to cast their votes early at the polling place.

 

A judge has ruled that Broward County's elections supervisor was doing enough to warn voters about a potential problem with the medical marijuana referendum on their ballots.


Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The State of Florida has budgeted about 12 million dollars to help Miami-Dade County in its efforts to battle Zika and the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Now, Florida's Surgeon General is requesting a comprehensive Zika action plan from the county to detail spending. Mayor Gimenez says he will comply. Does this signify a rift between the state and the county? WLRN's Sammy Mack and The Miami Herald's Daniel Chang fill us in on the latest.

Listen here: 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

A Broward county judge heard testimony from six witnesses today (Thursday) in a case involving ballots missing Amendment 2, the “medical marijuana” question. Among the witnesses was Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes. County election officials confirmed four ballots went out without the Amendment 2 question. Those voters were issues new ballots to correct the problem.

Speaking at a rally in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton told the story of a leukemia patient named Steven who "ditched his oxygen tank," as Clinton told it, to vote early.

"If Steven can do that, nobody has any excuses," she chided the crowd.

The Clinton camp is putting a hard push on to turn out the vote before Nov. 8. The number of people taking advantage of early voting could hit record levels this year. Here's a primer on early voting:

1. How many people will vote early this year?

Vote flipping. The stories and conspiracy theories have begun.

In every recent election, there have been reports of voters pressing one candidate's name on a touch-screen machine, only to have the opponent's name light up instead.

It can be unnerving for voters and often leads to allegations that the machines have been "rigged" to favor one candidate over another.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Two more Broward voters realized Tuesday that their absentee ballots lacked the medical marijuana question, according to the Miami Herald.

This came just hours after a Broward County judge said she would rule quickly on a case involving ballots missing Amendment 2.

Two Oakland Park voters received ballots last week that did not have the question pertaining to Amendment 2, which would legalize marijuana statewide for medical use. The Broward Supervisor of Elections said they were “test-ballots” sent out accidentally.

When Florida voters look at their ballots for the general election, they'll see six names printed in the presidential race box. But there are an equal number of qualified "write-in" candidates for president. Names you've probably never heard before.


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