Archives for category: Florida

Here’s Judge Terry P. Lewis’ (Second Judicial Circuit Court of Florida) decision finding that the Florida Legislature’s congressional map violated the state constitution.

Romo.Final Judgment.July 10, 2014

One-third of Florida Legislature faces no opposition at polls

Michael Van Sickler reports.

TALLAHASSEE — Millions of voters in Florida will get no vote in choosing who represents them in the Florida House and Senate next year. That’s because the deadline for candidates expired at noon Friday with no challengers qualifying to run against a third of the state Legislature.

The lack of opposition means candidates for eight state Senate seats — all incumbent Republicans — and 38 House seats, all but one an incumbent, automatically won their seats despite no ballots being cast in those districts. That will make 2014 even less competitive than 2012, when 24 percent of lawmakers ran unopposed.

More here.

And Oregon also is no longer sharing its voter data with the Kansas project.

More here:



Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Today, the 11th Circuit in Atlanta granted Plaintiffs-Appellants’ appeal in Arcia v. Detzner, No. 12-15738-EE.

The opinion is Arcia v. Detzner 11th Cir. Opinion.

I served as the expert for the Arcia plaintiffs. My expert report is available here.


Here are some excerpts from the majority’s decision:

We reject Secretary Detzner’s attempts to have us decide today whether both the General Removal Provision and the 90 Day Provision allow for removals of non-citizens. Certainly an interpretation of the General Removal Provision that prevents Florida from removing non-citizens would raise constitutional concerns regarding Congress’s power to determine the qualifications of eligible voters in federal elections. Cf. Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2247, 2257 (2013) (“Arizona is correct that the Elections Clause empowers Congress to regulate how federal elections are held, but not who may vote in them.”). We are not convinced, however, that the Secretary’s perceived need for an equitable exception in the General Removal Provision also requires us to find the same exception in the 90 Day Provision


In closing, we emphasize that our interpretation of the 90 Day Provision [of the NRVA] does not in any way handcuff a state from using its resources to ensure that non-citizens are not listed in the voter rolls. The 90 Day Provision by its terms only applies to programs which “systematically” remove the names of ineligible voters. As a result, the 90 Day Provision would not bar a state from investigating potential non-citizens and removing them on the basis of individualized information, even within the 90-day window. All that the 90 Day Provision prohibits is a program whose purpose is to “systematically remove the names of ineligible voters” from the voter rolls within the last 90 days before a federal election. 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(c)(2)(A).

Race, Party, and the Consequences of Restricting Early Voting in Florida in the 2012 General Election

Political Research Quarterly

Michael C. Herron and Daniel A. Smith


In mid-2011, the Florida legislature reduced the state’s early voting period from fourteen days to eight and eliminated the final Sunday of early voting. We compare observed voting patterns in 2012 with those in the 2008 General Election and find that racial/ethnic minorities, registered Democrats, and those without party affiliation had significant early voting participation drops and that voters who cast ballots on the final Sunday in 2008 were disproportionately unlikely to cast a valid ballot in 2012. Florida’s decision to truncate early voting may have diminished participation rates of those already least likely to vote.

OnlineFirst: February 24, 2014

Available: Full Text (PDF)

Want evidence? Start here:

Michael C. Herron and Daniel A. Smith. “Souls to the Polls: Early Voting in Florida in the Shadow of House Bill 1355,” Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. September 2012, 11(3): 331-347. doi:10.1089/elj.2012.0157.

Two-time losers, the four petitioners in Worley v. Florida Secretary of State have filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hear their appeal of an unanimous decision handed down by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals last summer.

Here’s hoping the high court will hear the case, and reaffirm, once again, the ability of the state of Florida to enforce its campaign finance disclosure and disclaimer statutes.

(Full Disclosure: I served as the State of Florida’s expert defending the Florida Secretary of State and Florida’s disclosure laws for Political Action Committees.)

Our 2013 American Political Science Association paper, which we’ll be presenting in Chicago on September 1, is available here.

Here’s the Abstract:

Voting station congestion can be measured by late-closing precincts and long wait times to vote. With this in mind we study Election Day precinct closing times in 43 Florida counties and early voting wait times in one of Florida’s most prominent counties, Miami-Dade. Our analysis of the 2012 General Election covers 5,302 total Election Day precincts and all the early voting stations in Miami-Dade County. We show that Election Day precincts with greater proportions of Hispanic voters in November, 2012, had disproportionately late closing times and that precincts with many registered Democratic voters also tended to close relatively late.  With respect to early voting wait times in Miami-Dade, we show that long wait times disproportionately affected black and Hispanic voters, and a natural experiment in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties confi rms that the final voters on the last day of early voting in these two counties were disproportionately black, Hispanic, and registered Democratic. Voting place congestion in the 2012 General Election, therefore, did not affect all Floridians equally, and this study, one of the first statistical analyses of observed closing and wait times across thousands of precincts in a politically important state, shows how the electoral environment in the United States continue to reflect racial disparities.


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