Senate Asks DOJ To Suspend Florida Voter Law

Earlier this year Florida became one of the first Republican-led states to pass a restrictive voter suppression law.  Among the restrictions imposed by the Florida bill are significant administrative burdens on voter registration and a reduction in half of the number of early voting days.

But Florida’s law likely conflicts with the federal Voting Rights Act since the impact of the new law will have a greater impact on minority voters than whites.  Because of those impacts the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has asked the Department of Justice to suspend the law.

According to the request, the effect of the new law will intimidate volunteers and significantly suppress African-American voters:

Florida saw record turnout among African-American voters in the 2008 general election in which voters had the opportunity to elect the country’s first African-American president. More than half of the African-American Voters in Florida that year cast ballots before Election Day in early voting sites. The DSCC sees it as no coincidence that the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature would institute voting changes that will disparately affect minority voters in an election year when suppressing the minority vote likely will help Republican candidates. But under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, minority voting rights cannot be bartered in the course of political gamesmanship.

The lengths the Republicans are willing to go to keep voters from exercising fundamental rights reflects their concern that, if left to the will of the people, they would be out of a job.

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Photo from kristina via flickr.

78 comments

Judith Hand
Judith Hand4 years ago

As a Floridian for the last two+ decades of my life, I have to say that this article is 'right on'. It is wild, it is shocking, it is discouraging at best, but it is true. It's the first time that I've seen in print the concern that the increase in registered "minority voters" may go back down because of this outrageous stunt. I'm not familiar with the statement about the League of Women Voters opting out of registrations. I'm going to check that out.

Ira L.
Ira & Ellie L.4 years ago

Don't see my comment anywhere???

Ira L.
Ira & Ellie L.4 years ago

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT? Are they just going to let this country and our "Democracy" go down in flames with a dictatorship of money Nazi tbagger-republikkklans????????????

STOP THEM!!!!

Esther Knott
Esther Knott4 years ago

I am ashamed to admit that I WAS a registered republican. Once upon a time this was a free country. Now the republicans have to BUY votes because they all have dollar signs instead of pupils in their eyes! God help us all if they take over! DEMOCRACY! iF ONE DOES NOT VOTE THE WAY THEY ARE TOLD TO THEN TURN THEM INTO SLAVES!
And I thought slavery had been abolished!

Amber T.
Amber T.4 years ago

Annmari L., it's called the Voting Rights Act, of 1964.

Catt R.
Catt R.4 years ago

Margaret P. or a few of the 'Christian' groups that were busted this year paying cash to their workers to encourage them to register 'the right kind' of voter ?????

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

The only solution is to radically change the voting system. Any citizen with minimum suffrage age should be issued a voting card usable at a specific poll station or at a post office in case of early voting. The voter should then present an envelope (or several in case he/she votes in several elections at the same time), the voting card and an ID to the election administrators and be checked off on a list. This is how most elections in Europe are administered. Also, a two-party system where presidential elections are decided by a court favoring a candidate who got fewer votes, is not really a democracy. Having to present an ID together with a voting card minimizes the risks of voter fraud. And, an ID doesn't have to cost a bundle of money.
Also, if parties were given a sum of money from the Government to cover costs of an election and then noone was allowed outside money, it would be more fair. No more billion dollar campaigns!
Just a few thoughts.....

Jan W.
Jan W.4 years ago

Everyone of legal age and citizenship should be allowed to vote. No exceptions. How simple a law that would be.

Donald B.
Donald Burnison4 years ago

One reason we have a Constitution is to guide the nation for the good of all. How many citizens and those reading these blogs have read the Preamble to our Constitution? We need a basis for our behavior and beliefs, and one might suggest that the Bible/Koran and the Constitution would be a good place to start. Opinions of personal prejudices and beliefs are just that - one opinion. Lets hope we have a better base for our nations beliefs. We don;t need a house built of a deck of cards.

Patrick F.
Patrick f.4 years ago

Phil S., And your point being.....what exactly?