tv The Presidency CSPAN September 1, 2014 2:00am-3:01am EDT
of silence for james foley and his family. [moment of silence] thank you very much for making this such a great success. we wish you a happy labor day. two i very much. -- thank you very much. [applause] >> a discussion on how voter id laws might affect the right to vote. racial innuendos are used in political campaigns. the mayor of lynn massachusetts talks about her cities challenges in dealing with
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let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. conversation, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> a panel of legal analyst looked at election loss and their impact on voting rights -- election laws and their impact on voting rights. this was held at saint thomas university law school at miami gardens, florida. this is an hour.
this is a distinguished panel this morning. i am really excited to be the moderator. the people on this panel, i think, have thought long and hard, both in the trenches and in the academy, about voting rights and access to the ballot. in roberto martinez, we have a former u.s. attorney and someone who has served on the transition team of two state-wide elected officials. in charles zelden, we have a scholar who has written at least two books on hugely important supreme court cases. one on bush v. gore. he teaches these issues at nova southeastern in the history department.
in robert hernandez, we have someone who has worked in the executive department of state government and who, perhaps more than anyone on the panel, has thought about these issues in service with respect to ethics and elections here in the state of florida. and dan gelber who has been both a federal prosecutor, a state of elected official, has again thought about these issues and on lots of levels -- most recently, at least in my knowledge, as a member of the voting rights commission which held an important hearing here in south florida this year. i think we have a wonderful mix of viewpoints and perspectives,
both institutionally situated and to have a very fruitful conversation. i am going to start with a sketch of what we would like to talk about with respect to issues around voting rights. the first is an issue that comes to us most recently out of the 11th circuit. that is the recent decision in arcia v. florida secretary of state with respect to the legality of the 2012 purging of the voter rolls for purposes of purging noncitizens from the rolls. and the decision was decided under the national voter
registration act, and it was decided that the -- the action violated the national voter registration act. i would like to invite our panelists to speak about efforts to maintain the legitimacy of the electoral rolls with respect to citizen participation and issues of access, particularly in light of recent supreme court decisions around the voting rights act. i am going to start with mr. martinez on my left and invite other panelists to speak about the tension between access and the protection of the integrity of the voting process in the voter purge debate and controversy.
mr. martinez. >> thank you, by the way. i am not sure i am the right person to begin the topic. we all have an interest in making sure those who have the interest of vote, vote. we also have an interest in making sure that vote is cast by people who are entitled to vote. with regards to the purging of the roles, as i understand, that process has been stopped here in florida and for good reason. apparently the roles that were being used, there was a question of their accuracy. i don't know how much more i can tell you. i thought you were going to talk about the voter id requirement in wisconsin. >> we will get there. [laughter] >> i would like to add, the secretary of state has simply delayed the institution of the voter purge until the homeland
security database is more accurate, according to the secretary of state's memorandum. if anyone wants to address that question and the tensions that rise -- >> thank you. bob was brought here to class the place up. i was brought here to go the other way. i think the purge, a lot of these things really implicate the issue that i think is probably -- it is not new to florida but it is pronounced in florida. florida is a state that is always in play. when you have -- nobody wonders what is going to happen in new york on november 5. but they wonder what is going to happen in florida. when you have close elections, it tends to me much more important. the fault lines are displayed
more proudly to the world. we obviously saw that in 2000. it happens with all of these issues. the question is, whether efforts to promote integrity are simply being used to try to change the outcome of elections. i am not worried about appearing too partisan. frankly, florida is a state where the apparatus of elections is run by the legislature, which is republican. it may be different in states where democrats run the legislature. here in florida, most of the efforts to deliver integrity to the process, whether it is a purge, voter id, most of those generally are intended more to suppress the vote then to ensure integrity. things like early voting constraints and purging really
aren't a lot of people running to the polls with fake ids to vote. there aren't a lot of felons desperately trying to vote. there aren't people out of status. if that happens, it happens incredibly infrequently and usually by accident. almost all the problems of voting from an integrity point of view are in the absentee area. you don't hear about other cases really. the purge was an idea whose only purpose was to suppress the voter population that the governor believed might not be necessarily favorable. most of the election laws to come out of the legislature have an ulterior and mischievous purpose. >> this is connected to the issue of voter id.
to push back in some sense, there clearly are documented cases of -- even in the 2012 voter purge, there were documented cases of noncitizens on voting rolls. at least 85 people were ultimately removed from a rather large number of 180,000. i guess the question that i have for the panel is, does it matter -- and if i take mr. gelber's comments to heart, he seems to suggest it doesn't, but does it matter that the secretary of state is putting a hold on moving forward to find a better database. to the extend that there were problems with the 2012 effort to protect the integrity of the voting rolls, what is based upon the mechanism used, the use of dmv records was a bit noisy and allowed for the inclusion of too many, or does it go back to your point about what you take to be the intent behind the attempt to clean up voting?
>> i think this is somewhat equivalent to being shocked there is gambling in this establishment. we have known for a long time that the databases we have used for voter rolls have been filled with -- to discover, there are flaws here and we need to hold back, is also coming a little late. we knew this back in 2000. we knew this in 2004, 2006. this is an ongoing problem across the nation of voter roll databases that simply, we don't know, we don't have enough good data. we have problems in which there are errors and mistakes in the databases we are using to check the voters. the end result, you start with
hundreds of thousands and in the end, you come down to 85 people. out of 100,000, out of 7 million potential voters in florida. the problem isn't new. while the decision to hold back was the right one, why were we in the situation to begin with in 2014? why weren't we fixing this, or holding off earlier? >> i am not an expert, but obviously the way in which this whole thing was implemented was rather clumsy. it certainly gave the appearance. but it is in our best interest to make sure that we don't have people on the rolls that are not entitled to vote. if we have somebody on the roles here but also on the roles in another state, obviously we don't want that. if a person is not qualified to be on the rolls in the first
place, we don't want that person voting. there is a legitimate interest in making sure the people entitled to vote are the ones voting. perhaps it throws the process into question. i don't think we need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. i know it looked bad. i am glad it stopped. it didn't look good for the republican party and the governor. the way in which it was implemented may have been clumsy but that doesn't mean we don't have a legitimate interest in making sure there is integrity in the voting rolls. >> there is a question about whether or not the state ought to have access to its own database. that is to say, to the extent that the state is relying on a database of homeland security,
in preparing for this panel i thought, isn't it interesting that homeland security would say, hey, the database isn't quite ready. to the extent that partisanship might be influenced, might influence both homeland security's efforts to get a database to the state that can in fact be used, does it make the argument that the state and government ought to have a database or ought to be able to make recourse to a database that is not perhaps vulnerable to the machinations of the opposite party? >> a great idea except florida has been trying to get its own database for the last 20 years. it has been flawed. bmv database is flawed. various other databases. sometimes it is by choice. in 2000, the decision was, make
connections that involve the same first name, last name, middle name and date of birth but it doesn't matter what the order is. they knew there would be a lot of false positives. they said, we will go with false positives. they purge to that. this has been an ongoing problem. the databases that we ourselves have in florida aren't very good. when they turn to homeland security, it is because they are looking for a better database. whether they are doing it for political reasons or it is hard for them to get a database, it undermines the process as a whole. voter registration, until we have a national registration process, we are going to run into these problems. it is going to be difficult to purge the list.
it is legitimate to clean out the voting list on a regular basis, but if you do it in a way that legitimate voters are purged when they shouldn't be, that question of legitimacy of the electoral process. >> i agree with bob that we shouldn't have people who aren't authorized to vote voting. but i think you confused who is the baby and who is the bathwater. when you have 80 people who probably shouldn't be on the list and they may or not be voting, you prepared to purge tens of thousands of others that are legal residents, that is the problem. we put out a list, realizing that lots of citizens of our state were going to be purged to get up couple of people who probably shouldn't be on the list. i think this is clear as day, that those lists tend to implicate certain types of voters.
they don't have a problem doing it. that is the problem with the voter purge. it takes citizens who should be voting -- a veteran was the face of it. i can vote right now because somebody with my name is also on that list. you shouldn't do a purge unless you can protect actual voters. >> let me just chime in here for one second. dan is right that there might have been serious issues in 2000 but we are in 2014. what i focus on is, where are we in 2014? although we are still talking about a purge list, i challenge anybody in here to tell me there
is massive purging going on of people who should be voting that aren't allowed to vote because of a bad list. there are lists, there are still problems and they have decided, we are not going to go ahead and do this right now until we have confidence in the list that we have, that people who should n be voting are not going to be voting. we can talk all we want about 2000 but in 2014, that is not happening. i think that is what we need to focus on. how are we going to make sure -- there is a legitimate public interest in making sure that people who should not be voting do not vote. it dilutes everybody else's vote. having said that, we want to make sure that nobody, like the veteran dan is talking about, is put in that situation. based on everything i know, that is not happening in 2014. >> i think part of the topic of the panel is common ground.
seriously, mr. gelber seems to suggest that a list that is accurate is irrelevant in light of the intent behind the attempt to clean up voter lists. that is in some sense the crocs of the -- the crux of the problem. >> why would the governor pushed a purge when he knows the list contains tens of thousands of people who shouldn't be on it? the governor is a smart guy. he has smart people working around him. he realizes that list isn't capable of really purging people who shouldn't be voting. it is going to include loads of other people. >> does that show that every subsequent attempt becomes suspect? >> suppose we have an enlightened governor, governor gelber. [laughter]
our governor has acted with a bad list. he didn't act with a good list. he did it anyway. there is a history of it in this state. i am sure we will talk about the history of voter suppression in this discussion. i think that is the point. >> i want to pivot to that. in light of the supreme court's decision during the last term in shelby county, in which the supreme court invalidated the formula, the coverage formula that triggered clearance under the voting rights act, the court seemed to suggest that history would not forever be at peace on certain political jurisdictions. certain jurisdictions immediately began to move to
implement -- or move forward with the implementation of voter id laws. the supreme court in 2008 affirmed the state's interest in protecting the legitimacy of the ballot by use of voter id laws. we stand here after crawford, after shelby, with the doj in litigation in texas and north carolina and other places with respect to voter id laws. the conversation that we have just had on wednesday, a district court in wisconsin has thrown out a wisconsin voter id law. it comes back to this question
of, is the evidence that justifies the state's interest in protecting the integrity of the ballot and the effectiveness of voter id in protecting against the harm identified by the state? again, a project that was affirmed. now, post-shelby, we have got some work to do in lots of places. in light of the wisconsin decision, which seems to minimize crawford -- look, we are going to take seriously the impact that voter id laws have on some groups within the state, to make the assessment of
whether or not these laws violate the voting rights act -- again, there probably is lots of common ground on this panel with respect to what ought to count as evidence. what counts as sufficient evidence? i will start with you, mr. martinez. >> again, i am not an expert in this area. i think in the shelby case, what the court said is, come back with a different formula. they invited congress to come back with a different formula. i don't know whether the obama administration has proposed one. the wisconsin decision, which a friend brought to my attention, that decision was rendered recently. that held -- wisconsin passed a
law requiring photo identification in order to be able to vote. if you didn't have one, the state would give it to you for free. what the court held was that getting that free photo id if you didn't have one imposed an unjustified burden on those people who didn't have photo id and therefore found it unconstitutional. the court also held that the class of people who would be impacted were mostly poor people, including those categories of african americans and latinos. it had a discriminatory impact. frankly, i find the scope of that ruling rather expansive. the court went out of its way to find that the state did not have an interest in protecting the integrity of the rolls sufficient to establish that requirement. it surprised me.
we have had photo id in florida for a long time. i don't believe it has been an impediment to anyone's right to vote, nor discriminatory to a particular subgroup, including hispanics which i am in that category. for wisconsin, maybe it is unique. this is part of a movement to stir out the groups, perhaps that is the intent behind it. as far as being a law that is unconstitutional, i think that was a reach by the district court judge. >> a little bit of context as to why people can come to different conclusions on the same topic. republicans generally have the view of the purpose of an election, which is certainty. the purpose is that we know who won and we are clear and confident as to who won and
there is no question as to who won. anything that cleans up the electoral process, that gives us that certainty, is a burden worth paying. democrats generally believed that legitimacy in election involves participation. anything that limits participation of all those who could vote from voting undermines the legitimacy of the outcome. even if that means the results may be a little messy on the edges. these are both legitimate positions to take. this is a perspective towards the purpose of the election. each perspective focuses on a different answer to the question of, what is a legitimate burden for the state to impose upon voters in the voting process? underneath this is that not so secret dirty little secret, that each little side -- that each side takes a position that will
help them. the broader the electorate, the better it is for democrats. the narrower it is, the better it is for republicans. it is just always easier to do this right thing if the end result is one you want. [laughter] part of the reason why we have this difficulty is, we have a district judge in wisconsin whose perspective is on the legitimacy of elections, as access. you have a majority on the supreme court currently that believes the purpose of election is certainty. i know we are trying to find middle ground here. that is a difficult thing to break because of differing perspectives. while we can say, yes, we agree that we should keep people who shouldn't vote from voting, what that entails on a practical level, our perspective on the purpose of voting provides a legitimate answer.
>> is there some possibility for common ground if we understand crawford and the wisconsin decision as both asking a question about the reasonableness of the fear that the process will lack broad participation so in some sense the court is saying there is simply no evidence that the voter i.d. law is the cause of the burden. whereas in the wisconsin decision the court seems to suggest there is no data to support the fear. >> in fact, he argues that -- he
goes no great detail trying to explain why there is in fact this burden, that the court might have been, you know, might have sid, well, we have no evidence. you want evidence, here is evidence at least in wisconsin and milwaukee and what are you. how one interprets this depends on how you perceive the purpose of the election. >> i have a little bit of a disagreement. goes no great detail trying to explain why there is in fact this burden, that the court first of all, the wisconsin case, i will dispute also that my friend -- >> sort of tell you that whether you are on the certainty side or the participation side those aren't the sides in an election when the certainty side is using sort of phoney justifications to create obstructions to vote. you ask anyone in the audience who sat in a line for eight hours in 2012 or six hours in 2008 they are not going to tell you that this was to make sure there was certainty in early voting.
they will tell you this somebody did something to stop the process of accepting voters to obstruct that process to cloud that process because they did not want robust participation. that is when is going on. it is wonderful thing to say one group likes certainty and the other likes participation. but if the one group that likes certainty is saying we like certainty and the way we will do it is by stopping lots of people from voting this is not a democracy. and that is what has been happening in florida and any one in aventura down the street
there were lines for 10 hours. 10 hours because of artificial obstructions to voting that had nothing to do with certainty of an election. [applause] >> folks, please. >> profess are, i became a citizen in 1974 because i wanted to vote. i was paying taxes. i could work. but i wanted to vote. so i believe very strongly, i'm republican. i registered as a republican in 1987 after i left the prosecutor's office. i believe very strongly as a republican but as an american citizen first that people should be entitled to vote. and that is my primary priority. a certainty that people are entitled to vote. >> with regards to the decision in wisconsin, this is the burden than the judge found. the judge in found found in the burden was that you had to take time to go to the department of motor vehicles and actually get a photo i.d. and that was a hassle to use his word. and that was the burden. by the way, the photo i.d. was free. you don't have to pay for it.
but he found that to be an unjustified burden. i was curious as to why this judge went to such great lengths to basically find this law to be unconstitutional. i did research on the judge. i don't know the gentleman. i'm sure he is an intelligent person but also has a point of view. he served for 20 years as a democratic senator in the legislature. maybe he brought a certain experience and view to that law that he wanted to find unconstitutional. to hold that taking time, we all have to do some effort to take time to go to the department of motor vehicle to get a photo i.d. that that was an unjustified burden and unconstitutional hassle and to rise that to the level of the 14th amendment violation i find to be quite an extraordinary reach. >> and again this goes back in
some sense. your statement goes back to the wisconsin decision and in some sense to crawford that if -- should it matter which groups bear the burden of a voter i.d. law? should that matter to the extent that the voter i.d. law is a generally applicable law in crawford, scalia writing for justices thomas and alito and himself that it should matter, right? there was differential burdens. and wisconsin said crawford didn't decide that question. it does that the sub group burden does in fact matter. does that -- does it matter? should we take no account that there are groups that are going to be differentially affected by this and that those groups that are connected to the voting
rights advocates or go back so some statement about history? should that matter? >> in reading that long opinion i think he found this to be relevant with regards to the statutory violation of the voting rights act and found that it had a -- a discriminatory impact on people who were pore and that they tended to be mostly african americans and latinos. i'm not quite sure what the significance was. i'm sure african americans and latinos are able to go to the department of motor vehicle and figure out how to get a free photo i.d. it is not that difficult to do. i found it -- the comment by the judge, frankly tortion be perhaps a little -- frankly, to
be a little patronizing with regards to his views of certain sub groups. i'm not sure i find the reason for that rationale. >> i disagree, surprise. 90% of wisconsinians who were voting didn't have the i.d. the marketplace shows you that 200,000 or 300,000 people didn't have this already and i have been to the d.m.v. and i dispute that factually that is an enjoyable experience. not to disparage anybody who work there's. thank you. it does go to the intent of the action if you implement a voter i.d. law knowing this 200,000 voters don't have i.d.'s and
those 200,000 tend to be overwhelmingly minority or overwhelming democratic performing then -- and there is no justification for it in that there hasn't been a documented case other than one person who accidentally vote for their spouse who passed away over eight years it goes to the intent of the action and disproves the idea there is any legitimate state justification for imposing that burden. and we don't know in florida what that does because there are lots of people who don't have vehicles, who can't afford even public transportation sometimes who live remotely who live on the sort of of the fringes of the economy, frankly those people have a right to vote also without an added obstruction.
i'm going to pivot to some of the questions that we got from the audience and i think they are interesting questions and because they touch on some of the things that i wanted to talk about with row spect to access and -- with respect to access and some of the state level changes in the last legislative session, not the most recent, the ended legislation but the 2013 legislation.
and two of the questions go to the question of the registration process. and asked why don't we look at the process of registration which is where the problem begins which is again one of the post 2011 efforts that the state enacted with respect to attempting to clean up the voter registration process or at least third-party voter registration which was subsequently halted by the federal courts. i would like to touch on that in just a second. and then another which raises the question about low voter turnout. and again, i think this goes back to questions about long waits in line, or at least in some sense maybe implicated by long waits with respect to how easy ordinary citizens take it to the exercise of the right to be. so let's sort of talk about the voter registration reforms that were enacted in 2011. and again, because they go i
think to the heart of the question about protecting the integrity of the voter roles and who does that and under -- voter rolls and who does that and under what conditions and regulations those are done. they weren't addressed, again, in the most recent reforms. but if -- if -- mr. hernandez? want to address it? >> if i can. i would like to talk about this legislative session but actually focus on few other things just because some of my esteemed panelists here, dan especially, keeps talking about the huge long lines which is true. and i think we all agree that it was unacceptable but there were changes that were done and i will focus on miami dade county. i had the fortunate privilege of serving on mayer jimenez council. it was mid up of elected officials, of lawyers, kendall coffee who i think is one of our panelists served with me on that. bipartisan what could we do to fix the issues. there were a lot of reasons other than the nefarious intent.
i could talk about the storm of different things that happened at once to crowiate the long lines. having said that, i think we did things locally and at the state level to try to fix those things so that that doesn't happen again. at the state level the legislature went ahead and increased early voting and to allow flexibility in early voting. urban counties with large populations would like to have as much early voting as possible to make sure that as many people can vote by early voting if they so choose. some of the smaller counties that didn't have the issues people wanting to early vote had to incur the expense and five people would show up all day long. now as before when you start on the 10th day -- the requirement is you must start on the 10th day before and have it at least running through the third day of
the election. and now you can start on the 15th day before the election and run up to the second day before the election. we increased from eight days to 14 days. >> can i interrupt and ask another question of you directly? with respect to the 2013 reforms, what do you expect he wouldle see from the imposition of the requirement on supervisors of elections to issue reports on their web site with row spect to election -- respect to election day preparedness? that is, to say to talk about the numbers of machines, to get the information out to the public well in advance of either a primary or general election? i mean i would think that generally speaking it will be a good thing in reference to demanding from the supervisors of election that there is, you know, accountability and there is, you know, in a public way, you know, how are we being prepared, you know, for the election, for the elective
process. in miami dade county and our supervisor of election that is high pressuring. we have an election -- an election incident after report that was generated that basically anybody interested in, it is interesting and talks about the different reasons why we had the long lines and fixes being put in place both in terms of the state level and things we were doing internally logistically in miami dade county. miami dade county is doing it and i would hope those across the straight follow. there is a provision in the statute that requires all of the counties to do that. going back to when i was saying, that is something that high pressured, the ballot summaries. now we have a 75 word, you know,
limit on the ballot summaries. we had, you know, five or six pages of ballots that people were dealing with in 2012 which seriously slowed down the lines. now, you know, any constitutional amendments by the legislature through joint resolution have the same limitation that all other ballot questions have. we now increased -- there was -- we have expanded the definition of places that can be early voting sites. before you could only be libraries or specific county buildings or excuse me like municipal offices. now fairgrounds other county owned buildings, other civic centers expanded the definition. miami date county is in the process of expanding the early voting sites. in 2012, it had 20. now it is between 25 and 30 depending upon if it as presidential election year or off presidential year. there is a lot of things being put in place and i used early voting as an example. there is a lot of things put in place to improve the mechanics of elections in florida. i don't think the sky is
falling. i don't think are being denowed the right to vote -- denied the right to vote, certainly not intentional. there is always going to be the issue of access versus the integrity and mechanics and logistics of the process and you have to balance those two things and want to make sure that nobody is denied access. there has to be integrity in the process and works smoothly and mechanically. i will give you another example we went to touch screen machines in florida after 2000 because we thought that would be a good thing. majorings went to touch screen technology which was going to be more efficient in theory and allow people with special needs to be able to vote such as the blind or the deaf. we went away a few years later because people lost faith in them because they wanted the paper and what if there is a recount issue and there is no paper to do the recount. so the state and the county
spent millions upon millions of dollars to go back to the optical scan ballot machines and that was a public policy decision that was made and so be it. now we have optical scan ballot machines. it is not a static process. always changing and obviously with the goal of trying to make it better. i think you this issue of access versus integrity in anything dealing with elections. >> want to speak on -- i want to follow up on that especially in light of our conversation on wednesday and i think in response to professor zeldman with respect to the national voter registration.
clearly both at the state level and national level if you take crawford seriously, the evolution from a bureaucratic apparatus and the department of justice and the sit and evolution from the state to county supervisors of elections with the kind of discretion they -- and flexibility. are there problems in that, flexibility? if you take equal treatment of the voting process seriously, and i happen to be one of those people who does take the procurement opinion in bush v. gore seriously, then while power to the localities has its advantages it also has a danger of moving us into a position once again in which what
experience you have voting is shaped by where you are and that can be a good thing or that can be a really bad thing. and you end up having people being denied to vote in one place but allowed to vote in another or long lines in one place and not in another. flexibility is good. it does provide for eight greater access to -- for greater access to the ballot but the danger is this it can be taken too far and historically it was that sort of flexibility which by the way, historically in florida going back to the late 19th century constitution the people who run elections in the state were the county supervisors, not the state. in 2000 there was no way to do a state recount. this sort of locality allowed for a lot of abuse of the electoral process. it was used to keep a lot of
people from voting who majority electoral process. chose not to allow to vote. so, in a sort of long way around, it is probably a good thing that we had the degree of flexibility but the danger is he would take it too far we are back to where we were a few years ago with the same problems that resulted in the crisis of 2000. >> the, first of all, the early voting issue is not an issue of legitimacy. nobody -- i mean although actually they did make the argument this it was, nobody ever argued that people are early voting fraudulently as opposed to election day voting. that is not even sort of an issue. the question of early voting and activities is has nothing to do with legitimacy. will is no early voting fraud that happens. it is purely a question of access. if you look at the last bill and the two bills before that and the run up before the election in 2005, they did one before
2008 and in 2010 or one before 2012 or -- all the legislature did was artificially constrain the hours and the places. they said you can only vote eight hours during a day which is absurd. why limit to eight hours artificially and only eight hours over the weekend which is absurd and limited to libraries and city hall. i think they wanted to make the process harder. i don't think there is any question about that. in fact, the democrats ran amendments saying you will do this but who wants to be head of the i told you so caucus. before 2012 they did the same thing. limited in the same ways. went from 14 to nine days. lots of black churches were doing souls to the polls so they got rid of the sundays none of this is about integrity. it is about access. >> if we take the point that any identification of some number is at the very first instance arbitrary, that is why not 20 days, any identification in the first instance is always arbitrary.
what is the -- what is the data that is required after that first move? that is, if we say look, we want to refine 15 days, what should -- what -- what would have been a legitimate presentation of evidence that the move was -- >> 30 minutes. shouldn't have to wait in line more nan 30 minutes to vote. and in dade county you couldn't vote unless you waited in line for hours. there are metrics that can be delivered. most recent reforms and i say reforms because we use that word purjoratively. the university of florida had an issue there because you can't go to a university campus and vote even though on election day you can. why is that there?
>> even with all of the shame has come to florida over the last two major elections and it really is shame, the legislature still has trouble just saying we want everybody voting. and you are not even -- my point is you are not even balancing legitimacy with that. it is just an issue of how many people do we think ought to be voting in the election and how robust a turnout to we want? and i agree there are concerns if you were making the point that when you have flexibility at the end of the day if -- if jacksonville decides that two or three hour lines are okay, then that is wrong. i don't care whether it is the legislature that does it or a county superintendent of elections. it shouldn't be that way and the state ought to make sure that people don't have to wait that long to vote and there are metrics they can deliver prior to an election to make sure that
they are prepared. >> i agree with dan, which happens somewhat. actually here in miami date county part of what be did as part of the election advisory council is the mayor wanted us is aspirational but he wants to hold a supervisor of elections and the department accountable that we basically want every voter that comes to go vote to be out the door within one hour. whether that be early voting or on election day. everything that is being done logistically and mechanically to improve the electoral process system in miami date county is so that you are in and out the door within an hour. in reference to the issue about early voting, i believe early voting is good public policy and it is something that we had in florida since 2004. it has been tweaked over time. you know, whether you want to ascribe nefarious intent to it or not, that is not me. the point is that it is not something that is at that timic. it is something that changes
over time. you want to try to give some flexibility to the counties because the needs of a large county are different from a small county. and i will tell you, i mean, you know, i think it is good public policy but it also -- it is not a right. it is a privilege. there are 17 states that don't even have any type of a early voting including new york, massachusetts, virginia, alabama, i mean across the state -- across the nation and you can ascribe whether it as blue state or a red state, really across the board. and so is it good public policy? yes. doing it in florida? yes. can we improve phone? yes. there are 17 -- can we improve
upon it? yes. there are states that don't even offer it at all. >> i don't want to make joe's life worse, i have permission to ask one more question. and it comes back to the question of registration. that is, why not some system of universal registration. why not some system of opt out registration? everybody turns 181 registered or at least registered in the same way as you might register for the elective service? -- selective service? why is it so difficult if we take that term seriously to
register? and why so many variations? >> that is a question are you say hag anybody who is 18 to that it if i became a citizen in 1974 that would have been an unnecessary act on my part? i mean i think we have to have some thresholds. i mean are you saying anybody who is 18 in miami you get to vote and you opt out if you don't want to go? >> clearly only if you are eligible. >> we have to have certain parameters.
the states have controlled their electorate. the more complex you make the rep -- registration process, more likely you are to exclude voters on the margins. the easier make the process, the larger the pool of voters will be. i think it is a good idea. for one thing, it would take away the problem of people voting in multiple states. of would not have the sense two states not talking to one another. the answer is, the states do not want to give up that power. statesifferences between on how they organize registration. affects the pool of potential voters. each day makes a choice as
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