A Senate committee Wednesday postponed debate and a vote on a controversial public records exemption that would make secret the names, addresses, birthdates, and email addresses of all registered voters on a statewide voter database.
The bill (SB 702) was filed by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, at the request of his hometown Supervisor of Elections, Lori Scott. The 67-member supervisors' association strongly supports the bill. The First Amemdment Foundation opposes the proposal. The panel's chairman, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said he tabled the bill because Altman was absent and sent a legislative assistant to explain it.
As a new public records exemption, the bill would require a two-thirds vote by both houses of the Legislature to become law. Three years ago, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a variation of the idea: a bill that would have kept secret the email addresses of voters who electronically request sample ballots.