JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On the steps of the Federal Courthouse Friday, Congresswoman Corrine Brown stood alongside representatives from the NAACP, the SCLC, and the Democratic party, and announced a lawsuit against the State of Florida.
"People need to know what is going on," said Congresswoman Brown. "There is a deliberate attempt to suppress the African American vote."
That attempt to which she is referring is the change in the early voting process. Last year, the state legislature decided to reduce the number of early voting days by five, and to eliminate voting on the Sunday before the election.
Brown believes the reduced time frame is an attack on Democratic, African American voters, because they are more likely to vote early. She said, "Now when you look at the data, it shows clearly we are 13% of the population. But we vote about 58% in early voting."
Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland is named in the lawsuit. He says the reduction in days does not mean a reduction of hours. Duval County's early voting sites will open early and close late.
"We're having 12 hour days," he said. "We now have it open from 7 to 7. So, voters can vote before going to work and after going to work. So, we may actually see an increase in early voting due to these new hours and days."
Congresswoman Brown says that's not good enough. And she and her supporters have filed an injunction to have the old hours restored. "As long as there is breath in my body, I am going to do all I can to make sure that the people I represent have the opportunity to vote," she said.
Her attorney hopes to have a hearing on the injunction within the next couple of weeks.
Early voting in Duval County runs from August 4th through August 11th. The primary election is August 14th.