Tuesday: Rallies Planned Outside West Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Office | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Tuesday: Rallies Planned Outside West Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Office

Tuesday, March 5, is the first day of the legislative session for Florida lawmakers.

And rabble-rousers are not letting it go unnoticed.

People affiliated with a progressive group called Awake the State, whose emphasis is on protecting middle-class families, intend to rally at 5 p.m. outside the Supervisor of Elections, office at 240 S. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.

Their demand: Make it easier to vote.

Awake the State is a coalition that started with three progressive nonprofit groups: Progress Florida, Florida Watch Action, and America Votes. It started as just a Facebook page in 2011, set up as a place for regular people to vent after "Gov. Scott and legislative leaders announced their plans to cut thousands of jobs, raise taxes on middle class Floridians and make the deepest cuts to education in history," as its website explains.

In reaction to voter suppression that happened under Gov. Rick Scott in 2012 -- crystallized by the egregious story of 102-year-old Desiline Victor having to wait hours in line to cast her vote --  Awake the State intends to demand legislation that calls for:

• Returning early voting to 14 days.
• Allowing 12 hours a day of early voting.
• Giving Supervisors flexibility in picking early voting sites.
• Establishing a minimum number of early voting sites based on population.
• Limiting constitutional amendments by legislature to 75 words, as citizen amendments are.
• Allowing change of address on Election Day between counties.

"On Tuesday, Floridians across the state will make it clear: We will not stand for an inadequate and undemocratic elections system hobbled by the antivoter elections law of 2011," said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of Progress Florida. "Nothing short of a fair elections system that provides all eligible voters convenient and easy access to the ballot will suffice."

Rallies are scheduled throughout Florida. See Awake the State's website for a full list.

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Deirdra Funcheon

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