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Women Voters Ask Gov. Scott to Extend Early Voting

The League of Women Voters wants Florida Gov. Rick Scott to extend the early voting period until Nov. 4 to accommodate voters. The League mentions media reports about people waiting in line for up to six hours to vote.

The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to convince Florida Gov. Rick Scott to extend the state's early voting period by one day.

The group wants early voting to end on Nov. 4 instead of Nov. 3, to accommodate the needs of voters.

On Thursday, the league sent a letter to Scott that mentioned how some people have stood in line for hours waiting to vote.

There is a special page on the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website that lists real-time estimates of how long voters are waiting in line at each of Hillsborough's 15 early voting sites, including the Temple Terrace Library. 

According to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office, 112,955 voters have participated in early voting through Thursday, and 7,925 of those voted at the Temple Terrace Library. Additionally, 126,014 mail ballots have been submitted, bringing the total voter turnout in the general election to 31.8 percent so far.

The letter that the League of Women Voters of Florida sent to Florida Gov. Rick Scott is below:

Dear Governor Scott:

As you are aware, Floridians are continuing to turn out in record numbers to take advantage of the opportunity to vote early in this important general election. This phenomenon, resulting from an increase in the number of registered voters since 2008, reductions in the number of days available to early vote and the unprecedented length of this year's ballot, have resulted in long lines and extended wait times in many counties. The Miami Herald, for example, has reported voters standing in line up to six hours, and the Palm Beach Post notes that voters are waiting as much as two hours to cast ballots at the county's 14 early voting locations. Similar news is coming from across the state.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, which is dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote, is extremely concerned that such long waits are discouraging to voters whose schedules and/or physical conditions cannot accommodate these types of delays. 

In light of this problem, the League is asking you to extend early voting hours to include Sunday, November 4, for counties with high voter traffic. Our goal is to ensure that the voting process is timely, accessible and convenient for every eligible voter who wants to cast a ballot.

As you are aware, when faced with heavy early voting traffic in 2008, former Governor Charlie Crist protected the rights of Florida's voters by augmenting early voting hours. We urge you to exercise your leadership as governor and extend early voting hours to allow all eligible Florida citizens to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to participate in this election. 

We encourage you to support freedom and help the voters of Florida by extending the early voting period.

Sincerely,

Deirdre Macnab, President

See also:
Temple Terrace Patch Election Guide 2012 

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