Florida Teacher Faces Thousands In Fines For Registering Students To Vote

Florida’s new voter-suppression law is so draconian that a high school civics teacher faces thousands of dollars in fines just for helping students register to vote.

Apparently Jill Cicciarelli, a teacher in New Smyrna Beach may have violated the portion of the bill that requires third parties who sign up new voters to register with the state and submit new voter applications within 48 hours.

Cicciarelli organized a drive at the stat of the school year to get students pre-registered, all in part of doing her part to prep the soon-to-be voters for the privileges and responsibilities of voting in a democracy. But, it would appear that voting in a democracy is exactly what Republicans in Florida are trying to prevent.

The new law is so harsh that even the League of Women Voters has suspended registration drives in the state.

The intended effect of the new law has not been lost on the high school students either. Shannon Miller, a 17-year-old senior who serves as co-president of the student government association along with classmate Crystal Merrick, said she was glad she had the chance to register at school. She wonders how many of her peers will participate if the process is too formalized.  “It may discourage some students (from registering) if it’s more difficult,” she said. “We’re more apt to get involved, but (some students) won’t go to the trouble if they think it’s hard.”

If there is one sure way of keeping power consolidated in any government it is by limiting civic participation for generations. If the Republicans get their way, that is exactly what will happen.


Related Stories:

Huckabee, Republicans Think Vote Suppression Is Hysterical

Senate Asks DOJ To Suspend Florida Voter Law

Photo from kristin_a via flickr.


Cat Mailander
Cat M6 years ago

First, would somebody here PLEASE tell me when the voting age was changed from 18 years of age to 16 & 17 years of age? The high school girl quoted in this article is 17 years old - SHE IS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE, SO WHY IS HER TEAHCER REGISTERING HER AND HER CLASSMATES TO VOTE?????

Second, the same 17 year old (NOT OF VOTING AGE) said the following: “It may discourage some students (from registering) if it’s more difficult,” she said. “We’re more apt to get involved, but (some students) won’t go to the trouble if they think it’s hard.”

'May be discouraged if it's more difficult' and 'some students won't go to trouble if they think it's hard' - WTF?!?!? BOO FRIGGIN' HOO! GROW UP! ANYONE who thinks it's "too difficult" or "too much trouble" or "too hard" to go through the process to register to vote, PROBABLY SHOULD NOT BE VOTING IN THE FIRST PLACE, because for them it will also be "too difficult" or "too much trouble" or "too hard" to educate themselves on the issues!!

Bottom line, this teacher DESERVES a fine!

Tery G.
Tery G6 years ago

The opportunity to register to vote should be a part of government class. If the school board won't stand up for this teacher, they need to be replaced.

Deborah L.
Deborah Lashever6 years ago

Might make it more popular for young people to vote if the oldsters don't want them to.....

Judith Hand
Judith Hand6 years ago

I don't even know where the last several comments are coming from! But I've witnessed the attitudes that the students in the article speak of, and the facts of the reaction to the teacher's attempt to help her students become voting citizens is, unfortunately, though shocking, not surprising. Infighting won't help Florida. Recognition of what's going on is a start. Thanks for the article.

Silvia G.
Silvia G6 years ago

Wow!! That is scary!!

Greg Beckham
Greg Beckham6 years ago

Search Clinton Eugene Curtis on YouTube or Google, see the video of his testimony of being asked to rigg Florida voting machines so Republicans could win. Oddly it never got playtime on major media.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Since when is it illegal to register people to vote? It's not like they're being told who to vote for, only to register, to expedite the proceedure.

William Y.
William Y6 years ago

@ Kelly W. Who submitted thousands of fraudulent registrations? Where do you get your inf, FOX News?

Joanne R.
Joanne R6 years ago

"Florida Teacher Faces Thousands In Fines For Registering Students To Vote
Joanne- snooze. Not only are you boring but you have the mentality of a fourth grader. Kudos! I'll just call you Sally the Snore from now on. "

You just proved my previous points about your immaturity and lack of intelligence. You may as well have said, "I know you are, but what am I?" If you only have personal insults and no real input, please go find like-minded individuals on Yahoo!News. Just leave normal, intellignet people alone. Thank you, in advance.


Joanne R.
Joanne R6 years ago

All we can do is hope that, due to all of their right-wing, extremist, Fascist laws and amendments they are pushing on the rest of us, they will be creating a new and larger generation of Liberals for the future good of humankind. : ) Just call me Sally Sunshine.