Florida’s Early Voting Plan Approved by Department of Justice

Florida and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have reached an agreement regarding the number of early voting days and hours in the 5 counties still subject to federal review under the Voting Rights Act . In a notice filed in the case of State of Florida vs United States of America et al., the DOJ outlines an agreement which provides for a maximum of 96 hours of early voting in the effected 5 counties, including 12 hours of early voting each day during the early voting period.  This agreement ends the litigation regarding pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act of the early voting hours established in 2011 by Fla. Stat. § 101.657(d) (2011).  

An administrative challenge alleging inconsistencies between the early voting hours in the 5 counties and the remaining 62 counties is still pending, although according to a   motion filed in that case the settlement with the DOJ renders the inconsistency issue moot.

Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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