Published: Apr 21, 2011 4:48 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 21, 2011 1:48 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House is poised to approve an overhaul of the state's elections law that opponents call an effort at suppressing voting.

The bill (HB 1355) is scheduled for a roll-call vote on Thursday. It was debated Wednesday until 10:45 p.m. as the Republican-controlled House defeated Democratic amendments aimed to soften the 148-page bill. A companion bill (SB 2086) is in the Senate.

The House measure would shorten the time for early voting and require third-party voter-sign up groups to register with the state. The bill also would create a process to determine the date for the state's presidential primary.

Conservative backers say the bill will help lower the possibility of voter fraud. Civil-rights groups and other opponents say it will make voter-registering and voting more difficult.

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