UPDATED: Bill Nelson warns Rick Scott: veto election bill or I’ll call in the feds

Senator Bill Nelson doesn’t mince words in a letter to Florida governor Rick Scott: veto a controversial election bill, or prepare to answer to the Justice Department.

Because Florida is one of 9 states covered by both sections (5 and 203) of the Voting Rights Act, meaning any changes to election laws that could impact racial, ethnic or language minorities must get federal preclearance, Nelson is warning Scott that if he signs an election overhaul that many see as limiting minority (among other) voting rights, he could be made to answer to the feds.

Nelson’s letter reads:

Please veto the elections legislation the Florida Legislature just passed. No doubt you’ve seen the many criticisms, especially that it would significantly reduce the number of early-voting days. Because Florida has five counties needing federal approval in the event of major changes in election procedures, I have asked the U.S. Department of Justice for an investigation if this bill becomes law.

There are just too many questions about whether this measure would disenfranchise an untold number of Floridians. I remain convinced it is bad for our democratic process. Thank you for considering these concerns.

So far, Scott has not appeared amenable to persuasion (except by the tea party.) We’ll see if Nelson’s letter gets him, or Florida, anywhere.

UPDATE: Nelson’s stance has put him into a verbal shooting match with potential Republican Senate opponent (and current state Senate president) Mike Haridopolos, who was pissed that Nelson in criticizing the election overhaul bill said it could disenfranchise the very troops who were successful in taking down Osama bin Laden.

Haridopolos, who is running for Senate in 2012 and would face Nelson if both win their respective primaries, said that Nelson was playing “political games” by invoking the Bin Laden killing in the election bill debate.

“That is unbecoming of a United States Senator and a leader in our state,” he said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Nelson isn’t the only, or even the first to seek redress from the feds from what they call Republican attempts at voter disenfranchisement. The ACLU of Florida and the NAACP have already asked the Justice Department to investigate Scott’s executive order reversing an easing of restrictions on the voting rights of former felons.

Don’t be surprised if the League of Women Voters goes after the part of the bill that puts severe restrictions on groups who register people to vote, if and when it’s signed.

This entry was posted in Bill Nelson, Elections, Florida, Florida to D.C., Gollum is Governor, People, Politics, Rick Scott and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to UPDATED: Bill Nelson warns Rick Scott: veto election bill or I’ll call in the feds

  1. J sidley says:

    Thank you, Sen. Nelson!!

  2. Rick says:

    So where in the hell is Marco Rubio? Doesn’t he represent Florida, too?


  3. LorraineDoyle says:

    Thank you, Senator Nelson. Now, follow up on this for complete compliance.

  4. George says:

    Glad to know Bill Nelson is looking out for Floridians.
    I just went to his website and sent him an email of support for his actions on this election bill.
    Hopefully, he’ll follow through.

  5. Theresa says:

    Thanks Sen. Nelson! Thank God we have some lawmakers that are not brainwashed/intimidated by that idiot, Rick Scott and his cronies.

  6. Steve says:

    I sent Senator Nelson a similar message to George … seems he’s the only true representative for Floridians these days …

  7. Flo says:

    With Nelson up for reelection, I expect him to keep a high profile (for a change); and if he continues to use Rick Scott as his target, his chances increase, and he’ll be doing some good for Floridians.

  8. Black.Progressive.Patriot. says:

    This is a version of Senator Nelson I can support.
    I’m so glad he’s finally taking a stand on something.

  9. Rydermike says:

    What an asshole! He thinks cutting the early voting days down to 8 days is about voting suppression? Why not just open it up to 365 days before the election? What is so tough about voting ON THE ACTUAL ELECTION DAY? Why must there be costly expenses to make it convienent for people? If they want to have a say and vote heard just do it on the election day!

  10. Rupert says:

    I hope that next election day RYDERMIKE has to work a 12 hour shift. That might help him understand.

  11. Rydermike says:

    Rupie , I have worked long days , and if it’s a problem , send an absentee ballot in , as I did many times when I worked all around the country. And I’m self employed , so I make sure I get it done.

  12. Rupert says:

    It’s not just about you MIKE. And what’s the difference between absentee ballot and early voting??? Why make it harder for people?

  13. Rydermike says:

    If it’s not important enough to someone and they need the easiest way out , they probably aren’t too well informed anyway. And there is certianly a cost factor to the election supervisors between manning polling places for TWO weeks right now! If we must accomodate the lazy , why not 3 days of early voting? All they are doing is trimming it to EIGHT days , that not enough?

  14. Jan says:

    RYDERMIKE must have a car.

    Being in my 60s and having physical limitations that do not allow me to drive, having 2 weeks to arrange for transportation to and from the polls makes it possible for me to exercise my right to vote.

    I am neither lazy nor uneducated. My thanks to Sen. Nelson!

  15. LadyMarian says:

    @rydermike – we’re NOT the ONLY state with early voting periods!

    @Sen. Fasano – thank you, Sir!!! Go after TrickyRicky and his cronies with all guns blazin’! Even if he does veto the bill, the fact that it was even PRESENTED should be investigated by the Feds!

  16. Kathryn says:

    Thank you Sen. Nelson–at least someone is standing up for what is right in the senate!!!

  17. Pingback: League of Women Voters to halt voter registration in Florida due to restrictive new law : The Reid Report

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  20. Alan Asper says:

    Sen. Nelson, keep up the good work! But, can you try to get the Feds to continue their investigation into Scott’s shady background? If we can’t recall this douchebag, maybe a federal indictment will do the job. The man is a scourge, has no shame and is hell-bent on destroying our state. He must be stopped at all costs.

    Bill, if we can have him out by Christmas, I’ll volunteer for your next campaign full-time.

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