Not all the voter suppression news out of Florida is bad. A federal judge has blocked the voter registration restrictions signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott last year. The judge ruled that the requirement that third-party voter registration groups, like the League of Women Voters, file new registrations within 48 hours of collecting them is "harsh and impractical."
In his decision, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that the Constitution and federal law prohibit most of Florida’s recently-passed restrictions, and highlighted the law’s impact on the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.This suit was brought by the League of Women Voters and other groups, who had halted their voter registration efforts in the state. Judge Hinkle let other provisions of the law remain, however, including restrictions on early voting and other registration restrictions. The Department of Justice has opposed those provisions under the Voting Rights Act, and a separate hearing is pending on those issues.
“Together speech and voting are constitutional rights of special significance; they are the rights most protective of all others, joined in this respect by the ability to vindicate one’s rights in a federal court. … [W]hen a plaintiff loses an opportunity to register a voter, the opportunity is gone forever,” U.S. Judge Robert L. Hinkle wrote in his opinion blocking most of the Florida law. “And allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter-registration drives—thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote—promotes democracy.”
Now the Florida voter purge needs to be stopped. Sign our petition asking the Department of Justice to prevent Florida's planned voter roll purge.
For more discussion, see alaprst's diary.