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Every Florida resident deserves the right to vote

caines | 2/7/2013, 4:30 a.m.

Florida has been the center of voting fiasco in two of the last three presidential elections. We had Bush vs. Gore and the saga of the hanging chad. Then we had lines that required voters to wait over six hours to vote, and we had the ignominy of taking longer to count our ballots than any state in the Union. Lets be blunt: the Governor and Republican Legislature cynically added multiple amendments that would take a constitutional professor to decipher so that voters would need more time. Then they cut the number of days and hours of early voting in a calculated plan to suppress the votes of minorities, young voters and the working class. Despite this anti-American voting tactic, the people of Florida withstood long lines and voted in record numbers. The Republican plan backfired and President Obama won the election, even before Floridas numbers had been tallied. Every voter in Florida impacted by those long lines. In the same breath that Every voter in Florida impacted by those long lines. In the same breath that Republicans holler about attacks on the 2nd Amendment (Right to Bear Arms), they seek ways to limit each citizens constitutional right to vote. Republicans holler about attacks on the 2nd Amendment (Right to Bear Arms), they seek ways to limit each citizens constitutional right to vote. They seem to have forgotten the grand reason for the formation of this country was a protest against taxation without the right to vote. The underpinning of a democracy is the ability of a people to vote fairly and elect the person they want to serve as their leaders. It is a not a fair election to put obstacles in the way of voters that prevents them from voting. It is a tactic that you would find in Cuba or some despotic dictatorship where elections are just a show to legitimize the illegitimate. After facing voter anger after the election, our politicians gave us weak platitudes calling for the need to engage studies and committees to discover what went wrong. Now that it is time to fix the mess that they created. But the Republican majority in the State Legislature is balking at making real changes that will guarantee that every Floridian, regardless of race, age, gender, or economic status has the ability to vote for the candidate of their choice. I am waiting for some rationale Republican to explain to me why all of our interests would be served if we were return to 14 days of early voting and give us back the Sunday before Election Day, so Blacks could once again participate in Souls to the Polls. Why not actually listen to the committees formed to study what went wrong? Its time to stop playing with our right to vote. Reginald J. Clyne is a partner at Clyne and Associates, P.A. of Miami/Fort Lauderdale.