New Voting Laws Take Effect in 2014
FLORIDA- Across the country, 13 states, including Florida are increasing the minimum wage in 2014. Florida’s minimum wage will rise from $7.79 to $7.93. There will be several other new Florida laws taking effect in 2014.
"The legislature saw some of the issues with long lines and supervisors feeling that the early voting was too limited to address all the voter’s needs," said Will Boyett.
Boyett is the Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections in Alachua County. He said a new law taking effect 20-14 should prevent long lines during early voting.
"They’ve extended the early voting period so that county by county your supervisor of elections can choose to open up to 15 days prior to the election. Rather than the 10 days we were limited to,” SAID Boyett.
Starting 2014 counties can choose to be open up to 12 hours each day and will also have more flexibility in the selection of early voting sites.
"There is still a specific list that we can use but it's been expanded from just libraries and city halls to now include places such as sports stadium and community centers that were previously off limits,” said Boyett.
According to Boyett, there are also new regulations in absentee voting.
"The big change we are very excited about is that if a voter’s ballot is returned and the voter forgot to sign the envelope, in the past we automatically had to reject that ballot. Now the law allows the voter to come in and sign an affidavit and we can use that affidavit in place of the signature on the ballot and still count their vote,” said Boyett.
Voters can expect shorter ballots now that a new law requires amendments to be 75 words or less.
"Those shorter summaries should help voters who haven't already read all the issues have an opportunity to fully absorb the issue before they vote."
Another new voting regulation explains that a voter who comes to the office on Election Day to vote, must sign a disclosure stating they have an emergency which prevents the them from going to their designated polling place.
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