TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Hillsborough County and four other federally protected counties will join the rest of the state and use new voting rules for the November election.
The U.S. Department of Justice has given final approval to Florida's new voting law. It includes 80 changes, including a reduction in early voting days from 14 days to eight.
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The federal government had to approve the changes for Hillsborough and four other counties because of past discrimination.
State spokesman Chris Cate says that means now all 67 counties in Florida will operate under the same voting rules.
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"We had five counties still waiting to implement these new hours and we're very pleased that now we're going to have the hours offered statewide and they offer more flexibility for voters, for voters who want to vote before or after work, more weekend hours."
Hillsborough, Collier, Hardee, Henry and Monroe counties will be required to offer 96 hours of early voting.
Under the new schedule, the polls in those counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. over eight days, including one Sunday.
First Coast News