Federal judge refuses to block early voting changes

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal judge is refusing to halt Florida's plan to cut the number of early voting days from 14 days to eight days.

Judge Timothy Corrigan on Monday ruled that there was not enough proof to show that the change would burden the rights of black Americans to vote.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and others in their lawsuit said the cut in early voting days was discriminatory because blacks voted early in higher percentages, especially during the 2008 election in which President Barack Obama carried Florida.

Brown wanted the judge to order the state to hold 14 days of early voting this year.

"I had really hoped that the judge would allow counties to restore voting on the Sunday immediately before Election Day, but at least we will have one Sunday of early voting guaranteed," Brown said in a statement.

Corrigan, however, noted in his ruling that urban counties still planned to hold as many as hours of early voting as four years ago.

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