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DNC launches website opposing new voter laws in Fla and other states

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 by John Kennedy

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 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.”





ACLU wants Senate hearings on voter law before Jan. 31 prez primary

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by John Kennedy

The ACLU of Florida, already suing to overturn the state’s new voting law, urged a Senate panel Wednesday to hold its planned hearing on the measure — preferably before the state’s Jan. 31 presidential primary.

Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin said Tuesday that his Senate subcommittee will hold a ”field hearing” in Florida on the voting standards approved earlier this year by the Republican-ruled Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

The state’s senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, called for Durbin to stage the hearing, saying the new measure is designed to blunt Democratic turnout in next year’s presidential election – by imposing stricter limits on third-party groups that register voters and shortening the number of days available for early voting.

 Florida is among 14 Republican-ruled states where new voting laws have been approved that Democrats and allied groups say are motivated by presidential politics.

 ”We agree with your assessment that these new restrictions will disenfranchise a great number of Floridians including young, disabled and lower income voters,” ACLU executive director Howard Simon wrote Durbin. “Moreover, these restrictions were intended to, and will, have a regressive impact on the voting rights of racial and language minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act.”

Simon said Durbin’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights should consider holding three hearings, in Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, and Tallahassee — before the scheduled Jan. 31 primary.

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