(Washington, DC) Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement:
“I am very pleased by the decision of Judge Timothy Corrigan to deny the motion made by Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, which would have delayed further proceedings in the early voting trial until after this year’s state legislative session is completed. I strongly believe that the courts need to proceed as quickly as possible with this suit, which was filed by myself, the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee, and the Jacksonville Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We brought this case to help all Floridians recover the opportunity to vote early, which they enjoyed before last year, and also to expose the insidious purpose and effect behind it: to suppress the vote. Moving forward with the case means that these facts will come out through documentary evidence and sworn testimony in depositions. Even with more than half the counties in Florida offering the maximum number of hours under the current law, we still had outrageously long lines on Election Day in too many places. This is exactly the kind of debacle I predicted would discourage people from voting and I don’t believe this was an unfortunate side effect of a well intentioned law. The legislature did it on purpose.
As you know, early voting has become especially valuable to African Americans. In 2008, 54% of African American voters in Florida used early voting -- twice the rate of white voters. In Duval County 58% of African Americans voted early in 2008. In last year’s local elections, African Americans cast roughly 34% of the early votes, even though they are less than 30% of the population. We must make voting more convenient and expose the truth so nothing like this happens again.”