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Cortes Files First Bill, Focusing on Elections Law

bob cortes, florida voting, florida voting laws, voting florida, mike ertel, michael ertel, seminole county supervisor of elections, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, jacob engels,

State Representative Bob Cortes's new bill focuses on allowing school principals to accept voter registration applications from students and concealed weapons permits to be used as a form of identification at the polls.

 

By Jacob Engels

 

In filing his first bill, newly elected Republican lawmaker Bob Cortes was not afraid to tackle several controversial issues relating to voter registration, identification & punishment for elections violations. HB 135, filed early afternoon on Friday December 19th, focuses on all of the above.

 

In his debut bill, Cortes wants to authorize high school principals to collect voter registration applications from their students. For years, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel has been naming Seminole County principals deputy supervisor of elections - allowing them to collect registration from students.

 

"We have fought for years to make this change, which would allow our students throughout Florida to register in school. Thanks to Representative Cortes, we are one step closer to that goal. We found a way around the law by deputizing principals.  However, codifying in law the ability for students statewide to register in school is a long time coming," replied Ertel when asked about HB 135.

 

The second part of the bill would add veterans health insurance cards, passport cards, and concealed weapons permits as acceptable forms of ID for voters to bring to the polls. It would remove neighborhood association identification cards from the list of 10 acceptable forms of ID.

 

The bill aims to provide protection for voters who are waiting in line to vote, but whom may be standing outside of the 100 foot no-solicitation zone outside voting locations. HB 135 would extend the no-solicitation zone to the end of the line, making it illegal for candidates, campaign workers or volunteers from interacting with voters as they wait to cast their ballot.

 

It's last & final section would make poll watchers who interfere with the elections process face the same third degree felony penalty that currently is applied to the Supervisor of Elections or Deputy Supervisors.

 

"This bill aims to make the voting process more efficient for Florida's voters while also improving the integrity of all votes. I am beyond excited about filing my first bill and look forward to guiding it through the legislative process," said Cortes.

 

View the entire bill (HB 135), by clicking here.

 

 

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

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