Gainesville residents call for senators to pass voting rights legislation

Gainesville residents call for senators to pass voting rights legislation
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:53 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The U.S. Senate has two weeks to pass two bills to protect voting rights and some North Central Florida residents are spreading the word to get the bills passed.

About 20 people lined up across NW 43rd st. and NW 16th blvd.

Cars honked in support of people calling for US senators to pass the Freedom to Vote Act to establish early voting requirements, protect local elections officials and ban gerrymandering.

Ku Wang said there aren’t enough polling places.

Related story: ‘I’m worried about democracy’: Gainesville residents remember Capitol Riots with vigil, call for voting rights

“A lot of working people have to work all day and then they have to line up a long time,” Wang said.

They are pushing for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act that would require states to pre-clear with the federal government certain changes to their voting laws.

They held up signs that say protect voting rights and honk for democracy, as they say laws are restricting people and taking their voice away.

North Central Florida Senator Dennis Baxley last year sponsored senate bill 90 that tightens voting laws ensuring ballot boxes be manned and mail in ballots be requested each election cycle.

It reminds Jonathan Coron of the 1950s.

“Where people of all colors and looks and ages had some serious trouble voting,” Coron said.

Republican senate leader Mitch McConnell opposes changing the filibuster rules to vote on the two voting rights bills.

“The smallest majority we’ve ever seen in our politics is trying to change the rules for how people get elected in every single state,” McConnell said.

“Why are you trying to put impediments in the way of Floridian voters?” asked Coron. “It makes no sense. It’s unamerican. It’s unethical. It’s immoral.”

They encourage other residents to write letters to senators to get the two voting rights bills passed.

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