State House Panel Approves Bill To Expand Early Voting Days

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Early voters wait in line to vote in the presidential election on the first day of early voting at a polling station setup in the Miami-Dade County elections department on October 27, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Early voters wait in line to vote in the presidential election on the first day of early voting at a polling station setup in the Miami-Dade County elections department on October 27, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBS4) -- Embattled actor Charlie Sheen could soon have a home on Mark Cuban's HDNet station. Cameras already are rolling, although plenty of details still need to be worked out -- such as what kind of show it might be. Cuban said Sunday a decision of whether to make it a reality show, a talk show or something else will be up to Sheen. Sheen has become a media phenomenon lately with off-beat rantings filled with lines that have become catchphrases, such as "tiger blood" and a drug called Charlie Sheen. It's all part of a campaign to disprove that he is a drug-using, reckless playboy. The future of his hit CBS show "Two and a Half Men" is uncertain. Cuban described Sheen as "somebody that everybody has a whole lot of interest in who is doing some interesting things, to say the least." Saturday night, Sheen debuted his live streaming web show, "Sheen's Korner" on Ustream. Sheen, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a dollar sign, hosted the show. He began with some words for his children. "Daddy loves you and if you're watching, tell mom to leave me alone," said Sheen. During an opening monologue, the actor showed off a tattoo on his wrist with his catchphrase, "Winning". In the first part of his show Sheen listed "Winners," which included a bald eagle that survived crashing into a windshield, and Josie Dimples, an 80-year-old who tweeted Sheen to tell him that she's "winning." Sheen's girlfriend "goddess," Natalie Kenly, then snapped a Polaroid of the actor, which he signed to send to Dimples. The actor introduced a segment called "Wish They Were Me Forever," listing Celebrity Rehab's Dr. Drew Pinsky and CNN's Nancy Grace. Sheen also listed people he wished he were for 10 minutes. On the list were his friend Sean Penn, Colin Farrell and San Francisco Giant pitcher Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson. The actor revealed that his favorite interview of the week was with NBC News' Jeff Rosen. Sheen said Rosen was supposed to appear on the show, but NBC wouldn't allow it unless the network could film the live streaming event. The Hollywood Reporter reported that at one point, the show had 113,251 viewers. (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – While a proposal to expand the number of early voting days and limit the length of a ballot passed in a House subcommittee on Wednesday, Democrats said it will need change if it is to garner bipartisan support.

The measure (PCB EES 13-01) would allow supervisors to increase the number of early-voting days to 14, though they could remain at the current standard of eight. It would also limit some ballot summaries for legislatively-sponsored constitutional amendments to 75 words, a standard that already applies to citizen initiatives.

However, if the Legislature approved more than one summary for an amendment as a fallback to deal with court challenges, only the first would be subject to the 75-world limit. And if the attorney general were required to rewrite a flawed ballot summary, that revision would also not fall under the new rules.

The unanimous vote only happened after Democrats withdrew nine amendments, dealing with everything from making Election Day a holiday to the automatic registration of voters. They did that in part based on assurances from Republicans that the majority party would consider altering the bill later.

“But today, this is a good start,” said House Ethics and Elections Subcommittee Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton.

After sponsoring five of the amendments, Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, pointed to the promise of bipartisanship.

“I’m sure, if we can get beyond Valentine’s Day, show some love, we might be able to get all five of them in,” he said.

There were few examples of that sort of trust two years ago, when Republicans pushed through HB 1355, a measure that slashed early voting days, barred voters who have moved from one county to another from changing their addresses at the polling place, and made a raft of other changes to elections law. After November’s voting snafus, even the old measure’s sponsor conceded there was room for change.

“I still think we had a great bill,” said Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. “Did we improve it today by doing some things that would make it more functional? I think we did.”

Democrats, however, didn’t guarantee that the good feelings on display Wednesday would last if the GOP rejected their ideas. They gave a more measured view of the legislation.

“The reality is that this bill goes a long way towards repairing the damage that 1355 caused. … Right now, this is just an early voting bill, and that’s for the most part all it is,” said Rep. Jim Waldman, a Coconut Creek Democrat and a member of the party’s leadership.

But Waldman declined to outline any hard-and-fast demands, instead choosing to focus on the opportunities for a bipartisan vote.

“You’re certainly going to get Democratic support if it improves and resolves the problems we had with 1355,” Waldman said.

The News Service f Florida contributed to this report.

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