www.baltimoresun.com/topic/sfl-chris-smith-hypocrisy-voting-20131205,0,1525878.story

baltimoresun.com

Chris Smith sees hypocrisy in Scott administration's latest move on voting

By Anthony Man

Sun Sentinel

10:53 AM EST, December 5, 2013

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Florida Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, says there’s a big hole in the argument used to justify the latest attempt by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to change voter rules.

The controversy stems from a special election next year when Pinellas County residents will vote in a nationally watched contest to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young.

Last week, Scott’s top elections official, Ken Detzner, moved to restrict the Pinellas system that offers a range of drop-off sites for voters to return completed absentee ballots. After an outpouring of criticism, and resistance from Pinellas County's Republican elections supervisor, Detzner said he is satisfied the county's absentee ballots will be secure.

He backed down eight days after his initial ruling.

Smith said it was an attempt by the Scott administration to “hijack” Florida’s election’s process under the guise of ensuring “uniformity” across the state’s 67 counties.

But, Smith said, during the 2013 legislative session, Republicans who control state government shot down Democratic proposals to change state election law – arguing for flexibility.

Smith said Republicans are trying to have it both ways. “To me that’s the height of hypocrisy.”