Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rally Today to Protect Democracy and the Right to Vote


Contact Millie Herrera 305-972-4162

Show your support today, Thursday, May 19th, 2011, at 4:45 pm in front of the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, 2700 NW 87th Avenue, Doral, FL 33172 for a Rally to protest the disenfranchising elections bill HB 1355 passed by the Florida State Legislature and to urge Governor Rick Scott to veto it. This law faced strong opposition by Supervisors of Elections statewide and restricts voter registration and the voting rights of citizens:

·         The early voting period will be reduced from 14 to 6 days.
·         Women and students, or anyone else, with name or address change will be forced to vote by provisional ballot instead of the normal way of voting. Provisional ballots are rarely counted. 
·         Volunteer groups and individual volunteers helping to register people to vote will be subject to a $1,000 fine for not returnng registration cards to the elections office within 48 hours of signing including weekends, or even for inadvertant mistakes in the process. 

The Miami-Dade County Elections Department has cancelled Early Voting on Sunday, May 22, 2011, and to accomodate the voters extended early voting hours until 5 pm on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Despite their best intentions, voters who planned to vote on Sunday, i.e.; those who can only vote this Sunday because of work or travel, will not be able to exercise their right to vote. We do not know why this action was taken since the bill has not yet been signed into law by the governor. At least one candidate for Miami-Dade County mayor has filed a lawsuit to keep the polls open this Sunday.

State Representatives Dwight Bullard, Luis Garcia and other Democrat legislators will be present, joined by members of the Miami-Dade Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee, Miami-Dade Cuban American Democratic Club, Miami-Dade Latin American Democratic Council, Democrats of South Dade Club and other community activists to send a message to Governor Rick Scott that he must veto this law, and keep intact our sacred right to vote.

"This is not a partisan issue, it affects ALL citizens. It is appalling that our Miami-Dade Republican legislators voted in favor of this law, many of them children of Cuban Americans who fled their land so they could vote freely," said Millie Herrera, president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida. "According to State Senator Mike Bennett, Republican from Bradenton, 'voting has become too easy'. ["I want them to fight for it," the senator said. "I want them to have to walk across town to vote."]  Read article here

We need to stand up and fight back these laws that restrict our most sacred right in a democracy, the right to vote. This community is home to many immigrants from countries who fled reppressive governments that took away their rights to vote. Many lives have been lost in America to protect EVERYONE'S right to vote. There is no reason to restrict our access to voting, other than for self-serving political reasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment