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HB1355 is accused of suppressing voters

February 8, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

On Friday, Jan. 27, an investigative hearing was held in Tampa by the U.S. Judiciary Committee. The presiding senator in charge was Richard J. Durbin, Illinois senior senator. This special field hearing was held at the request of Bill Nelson, Florida's senior senator.

There were three panels of witnesses, nine in total, were called to testify under oath, as to the facts of hardship imposed by HB1355.

The hearing was pointing out the abusive act of suppressing the targeted voters. This group targeted just happens to be voter groups that heavily voted for President Obama in 2008.

One practice scrutinized, the voter elections supervisors' practice of disregarding and under counting provisional ballots. Testimony was that approximately 40 percent were disqualified; the real percentage was closer to 60 percent.

The 40 percent figure was testified to by Mike Ertel, supervisor of elections from Seminole Country.

The New law, HHB 1355 would require that students changing address on election day, would vote with a provisional ballot. Thus, one could say HB1355 is targeting student voters.

Another suppression of voting was stated in the reduction of the number of early voting days, including the dropping of the last Sunday before election day. By some coincidence, the last Sunday dropped; is the exact day, that most African Americans and Hispanic Americans, vote the heaviest.

Thus, one could conclude that HB1355 targets those two groups. Discrimination is another word for this targeting.

This bill, HB1355, is heartily being protested by Supervisor of Elections throughout Florida. League of Women Voters, statewide, has protested the restrictions placed on third party voter registrations.

This activity, in which the League of Women Voters is extremely hard working, is under $1,000 penalty for taking more than 48 hours to return registrations to the Elections Office. The fines are mandatory under HB1355 (holidays are not exempted).

Florida's HB1355 also cuts the time in half to obtain signatures on a statewide issue. Apparently Florida's Legislature does not think the voters have Anaya rights to recall their abusive bills. That suppression! What arrogance!

Florid has five counties under Justice Department Review of any law that is related to voting. Ultimately, the Justice Department will rule on HB1355 and throw it out for the whole state.

The findings of suppression and discrimination in this federal hearing in Tampa can together overturn HB1355. Hopefully, this happens before November 2012 or the evil creators of this bill will win.

Please contact Eric Holder's office at 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. in Washington, D.C. 20530. The phone number is 202-514-2001.

Joan Patterson

Lehigh Acres



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