Democrats continued Thursday to blast new voter laws in Florida and 13 other states which they say have been crafted by Republican leaders to blunt turnout and damage President Obama’s re-election bid next year.
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Davie, said the party has launched a new website www.protectingthevote.org aimed at informing voters of the new standards — and rallying support for having them overturned. Florida’s law is already the subject of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and voting rights organizations.
A U.S. Senate subcommittee also plans to hold a hearing in Florida in coming weeks on the new law, following a request by Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who said the state’s new standard violates “basic rights.”
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Wasserman Schultz said Republicans are out to “rig elections.”
“By now, it’s well known they’re determined to roll back the right to vote and skew the 2012 presidential election,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Democrats and their allies have blistered the new Florida law, which reduces turnout by reducing the number of days available for early voting, while also imposing tighter reporting standards for third-party groups that register voters.
A study earlier this year by the Brennan Center for Justice found the new laws could keep 5 million people nationwide from voting next year.
Supporters of the measures deny any partisan motivation, instead saying the stricter standards are intended to reduce voter-fraud.
Wasserman Schultz, though, isn’t buying that.
A 74-page report released Thursday by the Democratic Party concluded, “every major investigation into voter fraud in the United States has arrived at the same conclusion: There is almost none. The real fraud has been the use of baseless allegations to change election laws in ways that will lead to partisan Republican gains.”