Monroe County, and four other Florida counties, have begun early voting for the August 14th primary. All five are protected by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This means that any new voting law there must be cleared by the federal government.
Last year, state lawmakers passed a law reducing the number of early voting days.
“Until this year, the state has refrained from implementing those changes statewide until it had pre-clearance to do so in the five covered counties,” explains Michael Masinter, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.
Next Tuesday's primary will be the first election since redistricting under anti-gerrymandering rules changed all of the political maps. The process made, changed or destroyed some political careers in the Florida Legislature, and not every one is sure the redistricting process accomplished its goals.