102-year-old voter inspires new legislation
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The story of the 102-year-old South Florida voter who endured a long wait during the presidential election last year has shined a national spotlight on Florida's election system.
Desiline Victor, the 102-year-old voter from North Miami, stood in line for hours before she was able to cast her ballot last year. Her story drew national attention when President Barack Obama recounted her voting experience during the recent State of the Union address.
Victor was on her feet for hours, patiently waiting outside the North Miami Public Library to vote for only the second time in her life. It took two days for Victor to vote. Old age and long lines forced her to come back a second time.
The national attention has North Miami Mayor Andre D. Pierre, Esq. joining with State Senator Oscar Braynon, Florida New Majority and several local leaders and organizations, such as Haitian Women of Miami and the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, along with Ms. Victor, to introduce a bill that will protect and improve the right to vote in Florida. "It says that it's a right, it tells us it's a right. You can't play politics with the laws when it comes to voting," said Braynon.
The bill, which is called Desiline's Free and Fair Democracy Act, will help modernize the state's voting system and enshrines the fundamental right to vote into state law. In addition, it will make the voter registration process more convenient by allowing voters to update their registration address at the polls when they move across county lines, as well as creating automatic voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Florida Senator Oscar Braynon said, "Voting is a fundamental building block of our democracy." He added, "By making it easier for all Floridians to exercise this human and American right, we are helping to ensure that people remain confident and engaged in their communities."
Victor may not ever vote in another presidential election, but her willingness to wait in the last election will leave a legacy.
Branyon said he believes Republicans will vote for these changes to Florida voting laws because it's the right thing to do. He's looking for a Republican co-sponsor and get a similar bill in the house.
The bill is expected to bring election reform and make voting easier for Floridians.
You can download and read the bill here: http://www.advancementproject.org/resources/entry/florida-senate-bill-888
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