Law throws wrench in voting

Although America is still feeling the effects of Floridagate and the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, many are optimistic that the Sunshine state will get it right this time, or at least they were.

Florida is resuming the “No Match, No Vote” law, which says a voter’s identification must match with state or federal databases in order for their vote to be counted. The law is an effort to stop voter fraud and preserve the integrity of the voting process.

Voters whose I.D.’s don’t match with federal files will be allowed to vote using a provisional ballot and have two days to present the correct I.D. 

If they cannot prove their identity, then their vote will not count.

Ion Sancho, Leon County supervisor of elections for 20 years thinks a lot of newly registered voters could be disenfranchised because of the decision. 

“This puts a lot of pressure on election officials,” Sancho said. “To come in at the last second with this decision puts a lot of strain on something that’s been planned for over a year.” 

Sancho said the law is completely unnecessary.

The “No Match, No Vote” law may present a big problem come election day, especially amongst minorities and out-of-state college students, according to an article written by Mary Ellen Klas in the Sept. 9 issue of the Miami Herald. The Herald said some minorities’ names are not simply confined to letters. The article stated that it is not uncommon for Latino and African-American people to have double-barreled surnames, which would present a problem if only one of them was listed in state files or on voter’s personal I.D. 

“Florida is a big swing state, so you want all of your college students to vote,” said Shayla Spann, 19, a second year computer science student from South Carolina. “I feel that this election is very important, especially when you consider the economic slump that we’re currently in.”

Students aren’t the only people at FAMU with opinions on the matter. 

“You want everyone’s voice to be heard, that’s what our country was founded on,” said Ceron Bryant, a professor in the department of English and Democratic Party volunteer.

“It’ll hurt the country because it could possibly disenfranchise voters regardless of their party affiliation,” Bryant said. However, Sancho said there is a way for voters to make sure “No Match, No Vote” doesn’t present any problems. 

“Take advantage of early voting,” he said. 

Early voting begins October 20 and ends on October 31.