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