While Voter Fraud Rarer Than Shark Attacks, Legislators Fight to Limit Voter Registration
A shark attack is more likely to occur in Florida than a case of voter fraud. Try telling that to the state’s legislators who say that voter fraud is a problem in Temple Terrace and the rest of the state.
According to PolitiFact, a fact-checking group led by the Tampa Bay Times, from 2008 to 2011, there were more shark attacks in Florida than there were cases of voter fraud.
During that period, there were a total of 72 voter fraud cases compared to 29 voter fraud cases.
To help eliminate voter fraud which they call a ‘problem,’ the state’s Republican legislators have thrown up several hurdles that will limit prospective voters’ ability to register and vote in the 2012 Presidential Election and other elections.
Most notably, legislators in the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed and Florida’s Republican Governor Rock Scott signed a 2011 law that makes it tough for groups to register new voters. The law requires new voter registration forms to be completed and turned into the state within 48 hours after completion, allows the state to issue a $50 fine per application to groups who submit applications after that time period, and cuts the number of early voting days from 14 days to eight, a 43 percent reduction.
"I want people to vote, but I also want to make sure there's no fraud involved in elections," Governor Rick Scott said when signing the bill in 2011.
Many Floridians say the “voter fraud” excuse is a hoax, and say that the actual motive behind the law is to prevent young voters and minorities, the majority that tend to vote Democrat, to limit their registration. And, the US Justice Department is taking a look at Florida’s new election laws, after the ACLU filed a lawsuit to block the voter registration restrictions.
To help the maximum number of Tampa residents to register to vote in the Presidential and other upcoming elections, remember that:
Residents can register to vote and make revisions to their existing registration by visiting http://www.votehillsborough.org/?id=14
or download the form at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/pdf/webappform.pdf
Visitors must answer some questions online, and then will view a registration form that can be filled out and mailed, faxed or hand delivered to: Fred B. Karl County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33602, or, one of the other area election offices.
Plan ahead and avoid potential problems voting on election day by voting early. Early voting can be done from the 10th day before an election to the 3rd day before an election. It doesn’t matter if voters will be out-of-town or busy on election day or not, early voting is a great way to get voting completed in advance and avoid the crowds.
Residents can register to vote when applying for or renewing a city or county public library card, a Florida driver’s license or at some area agencies. Call 813-612-4180 on Mondays to Friday to learn more or go to
http://www.votehillsborough.org/?id=14 (en Espanol,
Find locations of area election offices at:
Voters must be Hillsborough County residents, 18 years or older and US citizens. Voters must be registered at least 29 days before an election, to vote in that election, so don’t wait.
Exercise your right to vote. It can make a difference.