Friday, August 24, 2018

UCF will have early voting site on campus for November election

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 10:19 AM

The University of Central Florida will have an early voting site on campus in the weeks before the Nov. 6 general election, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office.

Officials have not yet determined the location of the early voting site on the UCF campus. Early voting for the November election runs Monday, Oct. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 9.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker struck down as unconstitutional a rule from the Florida Department of State that prohibited early voting sites on university and college campuses.

"The opinion lopsidedly impacts Florida’s youngest voters," Walker wrote in his July ruling. "The opinion has the effect of creating a secondary class of voters who defendant (the state) prohibits from even seeking early voting sites in dense, centralized locations where they work, study, and, in many cases, live. This effect alone is constitutionally untenable."

After hours-long lines during the 2012 presidential election, Florida lawmakers expanded the number of sites available for early voting in 2013, allowing election supervisors to "designate any city hall, permanent public library facility, fairground, civic center, courthouse, county commission building, stadium, convention center, government-owned senior center, or government-owned community center" as a voting site.

But state Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews interpreted the law as not expressly allowing voting sites at colleges and universities because "terms 'convention center' and 'government-owned community center' cannot be construed so broadly" to include higher education campuses, according to the 2014 opinion.

"Throwing up roadblocks in front of younger voters does not remotely serve the public interest," Walker wrote in his ruling. "Abridging voting rights never does."

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