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Federal judge blocks ‘harsh and impractical’ Florida voter registration restrictions

by Dara Kam | May 31st, 2012

A federal judge has issued an injunction barring enforcement of part of Florida’s controversial new election law, ruling that a 48-hour deadline for third party groups to turn in voter registration forms is “harsh and impractical.”

Tallahassee federal Judge Robert Hinkle left intact much of the rest of the law, passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Portions of that law are also being challenged in federal court in Washington.

The new law and associated rule “impose burdensome record-keeping and reporting requirements that serve little if any purpose, thus rendering them unconstitutional” even if they do not violate the National Voting Rights Act, Hinkle wrote in a 27-page ruling issued today.

The League of Women Voters filed the lawsuit against former Secretary of State Kurt Browning last year after the law went into effect. The league said the new law forced them to stop voter registration drives in Florida after more than seven decades because of the onerous time requirements punishable by up to $1,000 in fines. A variety of other groups, including the ACLU of Florida, joined the lawsuit.

In granting the preliminary injunction, Hinkle ruled that “the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their challenge” to some of the provisions of the law and the rules and that voter registration was “working well” before the law was changed last year. Republican lawmakers insisted the new law was designed to discourage fraud.

But Hinkle, wrote, “allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter-registration drives—thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote—promotes democracy.”

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27 Responses to “Federal judge blocks ‘harsh and impractical’ Florida voter registration restrictions”

  1. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    WE, THE CITIZENS, NEED TO STAND UP AGAINST THE FLORIDA VOTER PURGE! THIS IS AN AFFRONT TO AMERICA AND DEMOCRACY! Pick up the phone and CALL these representative government agencies:

    CONTACT DOJ CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION: (202) 514-4609
    CONTACT GOV SCOTT: (850) 488-7146
    CONTACT FL DIV. OF ELECTIONS: (850) 245-6200
    CONTACT THE FEC: (800) 424-9530

    RAISE YOUR VOICE!!!

    Or else nothing will happen and our civil rights will be OBLITERATED by the corporate powers that be. Don’t stand for it. PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM AND EXPRESS YOUR OUTRAGE.

    DEMAND THAT THE DOJ & FBI TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY.

  2. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    Hillsborough County ends its voter purge

    http://cltampa.com/dailyloaf/archives/2012/05/30/hillsborough-county-ends-its-voter-purge/

  3. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    These illegal discriminatory voter disenfranchisement tactics are NO ACCIDENT.

    Same exact thing happening with Republican Secretaries of State in Colorado and New Mexico.

    Smoke and Mirrors: Alleged Non-Citizen Voting in NM and CO

    http://www.brennancenter.org/blog/archives/smoke_and_mirrors_alleged_non-citizen_voting_in_new_mexico_and_colorado/

  4. STOP THE PURGE Says:

    RAISE YOUR VOICE!!!

    Use the phone numbers I posted above.

    Pick up the phone and DEMAND free and fair elections in the USA by way of an IMMEDIATE cessation of these illegal voter purges.

  5. JP KNIGHT Says:

    “STOP THE PURGE” wants illegal votes to cancel legal ones so Obama can be re-elected. Simple.

  6. GOP Cheats AGAIN! Says:

    “STOP THE PURGE” wants everyone who is eligible to vote to be able to vote! What a concept! The GOP has to reduce voting (especially by eligible minority groups) in order to win. That’s called cheating just like they did in the 2000 selection. The GOP can’t win any other way because of their war on women, gays, Hispanics and people of color. Face the facts. The GOP represents the rich and corporate America and does NOT represent the interests of working people.

  7. ctw Says:

    STOP THE PURGE:

    Grow up and realize how stupid you sound with all the BS you are saying… You are sick…One can’t help but laugh at your desperate attempt to justify people who are stacking the voter boxes.

  8. Jayne Says:

    Yes – make the calls, write letters to the editors of all the local papers, call your elected officials and demand they take action – above all, don’t do nothing!!!!

  9. Joe Says:

    How can the GOP flat out attack the right to vote in such an obvious way .. and still get votes? The entire strategy is to simply lie and cheat their way to victory .. again. “Make Obama look like, this and that” .. like little bully kids.

    Now that is what I call family values and true patriotism. Lie and keep your neighbor from voting .. to “win win win” .. pretty sick stuff.

  10. Tom Says:

    How hard is it to require each individual to personally show up at the voter registration office, show proof that they have a legal right to vote and be registered. Only those who cannot met this burden argue against it. If it is too inconvenient for someone to take the time to do this, they are most likely not going to find the time to physically go to a polling place and vote.

  11. Hank Major Says:

    Voting is the foundation of our society. Republicans fear of illegal voters is misdirected; there aren’t any. But they have to believe in massive voter fraud or they will be forced to admit that regular citizens who vote Democratic sometimes are in the majority.

  12. Bill Says:

    Tom,

    It can very hard to get to the County Office that’s only open during business hours. Hard to get an ID, when it costs Money, and time away from work. If you are really sincere then make it easy to get ID’s and Birth Verification FOR FREE at the polling place with immediate registration.

    That’s the American Way!

  13. Educator Says:

    There AREN’t any illegal voters????

    Boy oh boy the SILLY LIBTARDS are out in full force.

  14. Ms Vicky Says:

    The federal judge called the restrictions “harsh” and “impractical.” Hmmm…sounds a lot like our governor! It’s really a disgrace that he has to resort to tricks like this. For those of you who are too ignorant or too lazy to learn about the MANY ways this governor has attempted to block the rights of Florida’s citizens to vote, be ashamed of yourselves! But this is not your daddy’s South, and certainly NOT the South of Bush vs Gore. Fool us once, shame on you…. I don’t blame the GOP for trying. We will be out to vote in DROVES and NOTHING will stop us this time.

  15. RANDY ST. CLAIR Says:

    The big question is how many (R)’s were disenfranchised with this new law? Not many, if any, I’m sure. The Bill in and of itself is based upon a false predicate, there were only 3 arrests statewide for voter fraud. This agenda was manifested in (R) meetings with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)a Large group of Billionaire Corps. and Bankers that sponsor special interest legislation like this and PIP Insurance Laws and many more. Identical bills were introduced in all (R) led states, what does that say about its benevolence and fairness.It Specifically targets (D)’s and (I)’s, even a blind judge could see that.

  16. the truth hurts Says:

    Let the GOP post all the felons convicted of voter fraud in the last 10 years in the State of Florida on the front page of Post if it is so rampant. I dare them!

  17. Ms Vicky Says:

    Rick Scott and his “harsh, impractical”
    policies will ultimately be the best thing that could have happened to Democrats and Independents in Florida. He will be the last Republican governor for a long time to come. Many of his most important (and grudge-provoked) bills have been turned over and now sit in the Supreme Court. Even judges appointed by Jeb Bush have deemed his bills as unconstitutional. He needed to work out his rage and frustration in a therapist’s office before becoming governor. Remember, he and the legislature are supposed to work FOR WE THE PEOPLE, not tyrannize us! He shafted our teachers, police, fire-fighters, healthcare workers and just about all of Florida’s middle class working people. We are more united a force than ever before, and we WILL remember come this November and next!

  18. Datrebor Says:

    Sounds more like a Democrat ploy. Who prevented overseas Military votes from counting last election? We need tough laws to prevent illegals from voting, in some states they are given a DL and that registers them to vote. That is just wrong.

  19. Roosevelt Favre Says:

    It’s almost impossible for one incoming link to provide all of the given standards and it only means that you have to find good places in order to get them. So how do we find pages that can provide us with these strong links that are highly favored by search engines and obviously highly beneficial to your rankings?Debby recently posted..skin tag removal

  20. Lester Bennett Says:

    There seems to be a lot of shouting and outrage by ever one, including the Judge, against a nonexisent problem.The injuntion against the requirement for turning in registrations in 48 hours by third parties (Democrat and Republican) was seen as harsh by the Judge.I don,t see that at all.How hard would it be for a major political party to find someone to turn in the registrations to county authorities within two days after receiving the signatures. The purpose for the time requirements is to prevent a third party from colecting thousands of registrations and turning them in all at once the day before voting day, leaving the authorities no time to review and verify the sigatures. The ruleing by the Judge was a political act to support the Democrat party.

  21. Jim Says:

    The common thread is Republican led bogus voter fraud clams as a smoke screen to enact voter ID laws that target specific segments of our population, then they rig the voting machines and once in office they pass law to help they crony corporate buddies while they get rich at the expense of the people they clam they are representing.
    The Republicans and Tea Party while crying of freedom, liberty and justice, seek to weaken, destroy and subvert those very principles. The most vital and fundamental right and individual has in a Democracy is the Right To Vote.
    Those who seek to destroy and subvert that right should be held accountable.
    Register and vote the more people we have voting the harder it is for the Republicans or anyone else to steal the election.
    Its up to us to protect our Democracy, We must be vigilant to all threats both foreign and Domestic.
    We Must Exercise our hard fought for rights and ensure All citizens participate in our democracy and VOTE.

  22. Jim Says:

    There are 37 states that have enacted Republican led voter ID laws based on out right lies and deliberate deception.
    The facts do not support the Republican held position, but facts didn’t stop the Iraq war or Tax Incentives for the “job creators” or for that matter most of the Republican agenda. Time and time again the Republican party is in conflict with the best interests of the American people.
    The Myth of Voter Fraud
    Lorraine C. Minnite
    “In The Myth of Voter Fraud, Lorraine C. Minnite presents the results of her meticulous search for evidence of voter fraud. She concludes that while voting irregularities produced by the fragmented and complex nature of the electoral process in the United States are common, incidents of deliberate voter fraud are actually quite rare. Based on painstaking research aggregating and sifting through data from a variety of sources, including public records requests to all fifty state governments and the U.S. Justice Department, Minnite contends that voter fraud is in reality a politically constructed myth intended to further complicate the voting process and reduce voter turnout.”(http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100774960}
    Republican led voter fraud initiatives undermine the most important and fundamental principle of a Democratic society, an Individuals Right to Vote.
    We the People Must hold them accountable. Republicans must not be allowed to steal another election from the American people.
    Register and Vote, encourage your neighbors friends and relatives to do like wise.
    We must be vigilant to all threats to our Democracy both foreign and Domestic.

  23. oracle Says:

    Our elections have become so crooked I fear for what the “voters” will have the government do to taxpayers.

  24. All that said Says:

    Idiots!!!! They are just trying to get the illegal voters off the roles. There are laws that have to be followed to protect your right to vote. You cannot be a convict, you must register legally, you need to be a citizen. I support them 100 %

  25. Ms Vicky Says:

    @All that said, there are only 3 possibilities: 1: You are totally ignorant of the facts involved in this issue. 2: You know the facts but don’t care about the rights of Americans. 3:
    You know the facts, are ignorant, and don’t care about the rights of Americans.
    Do you think you are wiser than the judge who decided this bill was “harsh” and impractical?

  26. All that said Says:

    Yes I do. He was obviously a liberal judge that should be removed from his position.

  27. Ms Vicky Says:

    I knew that was exactly what you would write. LOL! So I guess you think this judge is wrong in leaving most of this law, by governor Scott, intact.
    You CAN’T have it both ways, Oh Wise One!
    TRY READING THE BILL SO YOU CAN AT LEAST PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT!

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