U.S. Senators Assail State's New Voter Registration Law

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), left, and Bill Nelson (D-Fl)
Demonstrators outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse
TAMPA (2012-1-27) -

Florida's new voter registration laws were put under a microscope by members of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, who met today in Tampa. And two U.S. Senators didn't like what they heard.

The chairman of the committee, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, is hosting several field hearings in states that have recently passed laws placing restrictions on voting. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson invited the committee down to Florida to discuss the state's new law.

Last year, Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott passed a bill that reduces the time for early voting from two weeks to eight days. And it requires that all voter registration forms be filed within two days - or violators can be fined.

And that troubles Nelson.

"I think that rule of law has been assaulted here in this state, by this election law under the pretense of cutting down on election fraud," says Nelson.

Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee say the bill will help reduce fraud at the polls. Several groups, including the ACLU and NAACP have filed suit, saying the law unfairly targets minorities.

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