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Florida Voter Registration Way Down Thanks To Restrictions

Florida Voter Registration Way Down Thanks To Restrictions

Despite a series of legal set-backs, voter ID initiatives and other voting restrictions have become the whack-a-mole of election season politics, popping up in state after state. Not surprisingly, they’ve been most hard fought in traditional swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. There’s good reason why.

Under Florida’s restrictive new voting laws, over 81,000 fewer Floridians have registered to vote than during the same period before the 2008 presidential election. In total there are about 11.3 million voters registered in the state.

The new law requires groups that registers voters to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines has, among other things, led the state’s League of Women Voters to stop registration drives. Rock the Vote, a national organization that encourages young people to vote, began their voter initiative drive to register high school students in every state but Florida.

Florida’s law is being challenged in court by civics groups and by the Department of Justice for those counties covered by the Voting Rights Act.

Supporters of the voting restrictions argue that there’s no way to link the fewer registrants to the laws, citing other factors such as possible demographic shifts or low voter enthusiasm.

But fewer voters is fewer voters, regardless of the reason, and in a democracy that means fewer citizens have the opportunity to participate and have a say in their own governance. Regardless of political affiliation, that’s a truth that should disturb us.

Related Stories:

Judge Rules Against Missouri Voter ID Proposal

Florida Voter Restrictions Might Be Intentionally Discriminatory

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Photo from Korean Resource Center via flickr.

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47 comments

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11:04AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Mission accomplished.

4:25AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

When you try and vote the party of NO out you better make sure that you can vote. Some States have changed their voter registration laws so that even if you wanted to vote you won't be able to. PLEASE CHECK the voter registration laws of the States that you live in NOW, so that you can have the right ID when it comes time to vote. PLEASE tell ALL your friends about this, especially students, seniors, immigrants and the poor. I am sure that the 1% will be flocking to the voting booths so that they can retain their power and money. The 99% had better start THINKING about what will happen if the republicans get in again. For example, no contraceptives which will lead to more people. Right now 8 BILLION PLUS. No abortions even for sick babies, unwanted babies because of rape or incest. No Jobs, undrinkable water because of fracking, war with Iran, no health care. Abstinence programs only, which do not work and many others. Sex Education is needed so that unwanted pregnancy and abortion can be lessened along with STD’S that can KILL your child. So if you don't vote and get as many as you can to vote along with you and the republicans get into power this may and probably will happen. Here is an idea, car pool with a car full to the voting booths (saves gas) and after you vote, have a party and KNOW that you have done your best for your country. Have a designated driver. PLEASE REMEMBER, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.

9:55PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I prefer to live in a democracy. One person/one vote. Sign up everybody.

5:42PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

The important thing is to get out there and vote, no matter what obstacle may be put in your way. American women, get on with it! I am woman, hear me roar!

5:39PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Every American has the right to vote, and both of the major parties should be fighting to retain that right and make sure everyone legal to vote in the U.S. is registered.
Judy M, it isn’t the Democrats who “register the dead to vote”; Republicans have done it, too. When I was first voting back in the 1970s, it was a sad joke that more dead people voted in one district than live ones. At that time it was the Republicans who wanted power, so… (Remember Tricky Dicky?)
Remember, people, every vote counts. Don’t be apathetic and say, “My candidate won’t win anyhow”, because he or she certainly won’t if you don’t GET OUT AND VOTE!

1:04PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Steve R.: I won't even bother to respond to old, stale, grasping at straws Fox puppet lies.
I do believe the Democrats have to take a bolder stand against the teabagger republican dirty tricks like voter suppression and playing the religious, abortion, and gun cards to rile up their 1% and fanatics base. Haters, liars and crooks live in the new GOP. Vote them all out, and save America.

4:01PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Steve R. The simplistic fact, which you are apparently too blind to see, is that if everyone were allowed to vote, then that would be the most fair. To be fair, then everyone needs to have the right to vote. Not everyone is allowed to vote, therefore, voter restrictions. Is this too simplistic for you to comprehend? Probably! Restrictions result in bias. Restrictions are favored by Republicans (generalisation, but more or less true). Looks like bias to me. Is it a mystery why reasonable people despise republicans? Instead of voter restrictions, which motivates people to not want to vote (do to corruption), we need to do the opposite, and try to motivate everyone to vote. Everyone deserves to have a voice. Not just the loudmouths (like Steve R.) who believe that their voice is more important than others. Steve R. must have a fear of equality! We all know what that means!

7:43AM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

noted

6:04PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

America used to be the home of the brave and the land of the free and everyone had the right to vote for their elected officals and have a say in the government. Now due to the rash of voter suppression laws the old, sick and poor don't count anymore. It is the land of the have's and the have more's for the have's and have more's. The have not's need not have a say and if they did the 1% is not listeneing in the first place. Wat to go ALEC.

2:38PM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Judy M., your post is one huge lie. The shame is that you believe it.

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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