Bill Nelson To Gov. Scott: 'Fix New Election Law'

Published On: Oct 31 2011 03:54:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 25 2011 09:08:10 AM EDT

As a Florida teacher faces legal trouble over getting high school students preregistered to vote, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) asked Governor Rick Scott to fix a new election law.

READ: U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's Letter

In a letter to Scott on Tuesday, Nelson said he wants the law repealed or revamped. Scott signed the bill into law earlier this year.

The election law was presented as a reform measure aimed at curbing voter fraud, but critics said it puts hurdles between the voting booth and seniors, young voters and minorities.

Among other things, the law requires third parties who sign up new voters to register with the state and submit all applications within 48 hours. It also reduces the time for early voting from 14 days to eight.

Nelson called the case of New Smyrna Beach High School teacher Jill Cicciarelli an example of the law's flaws.

Cicciarelli organized a drive at the beginning of the school year to get students preregistered to vote. She may face a fine because she hadn't registered with the state before beginning the drive and didn't submit forms to the elections office on time.

"After this incident with the teacher, can anyone actually say we aren't taking a step backwards in Florida when it comes to protecting one of our most fundamental rights?" Nelson wrote in the letter.

On Wednesday in Orlando, Nelson is scheduled to meet with Cicciarelli and five of her students to discuss the law.


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