Safe space: Senate amendment extends distance requirements at polling places

Voting 2018 primary
The measure was approved 23-17 on a party line vote.

An amendment to a broader election bill (SB 7066) approved by the Senate on Friday would extend the boundaries around polling places from 100 feet to 150 feet.

That extension, which was part of an amendment offered by Sen. Dennis Baxley, would limit the ability for candidates and their supporters to interact with voters on Election Day.

Those zones are designed to limit direct solicitation of votes as people head to cast their ballots. The Ocala Republican says the 50-foot boundary increase was developed in consultation with election supervisors.

But Democrats pushed back on the amendment, calling it an “arbitrary” change. Democrats voted against the measure in lockstep, but it was approved by Senators 23-17 on a party line vote.

A companion measure in the House (HB 7101) also states, “No person, political committee, or other group or organization may solicit voters inside the polling place or within 150 feet of the entrance to any polling place.”

Those boundaries will be marked by election workers.

The amended legislation in the Senate is set for a vote next week.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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