Miami grand jury: Expand early voting

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The state should expand early voting to a minimum of 120 hours, start 15 days before an election, make it illegal for anyone to be in possession of more than two absentee ballots, and restore a requirement that someone must witness in person an absentee voter’s signature on a ballot, a grand jury in Miami-Dade County said Thursday. The grand jury also said the Legislature should expand early voting sites, particularly in big counties, and give the local supervisors discretion in determining the location and number of early voting sites.

The 21-member grand jury was asked to look primarily at absentee voting after the August primary, following charges against ballot brokers in Hialeah. Several other laws should be in place regarding people who provide assistance to voters. People who are helping others vote should have to sign a declaration, for example, the grand jury said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.