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Latest Results In The War On Voting

The Florida Republicans suffered two defeats in their War On Voting™.

First, the Miami Herald reports that the DOJ remembered it is supposed to uphold Federal laws:

The Justice Department ordered Florida’s elections division to halt a systematic effort to find and purge the state’s voter rolls of noncitizen voters.

Florida’s effort appears to violate both the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities, and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act – which governs voter purges – T. Christian Herren Jr., the Justice Department’s lead civil rights lawyer, wrote in a detailed two-page letter sent late Thursday night.

State officials said they were reviewing the letter. But they indicated they might fight DOJ over its interpretation of federal law and expressed frustration that President Barack Obama’s administration has stonewalled the state’s noncitizen voter hunt for nine months.

Florida is on the Federal watch list for its history of suppressing minority voters, so changes to election laws require approval before taking effect, and purging the voters list can’t take place within 90 days of an election, which was May 16. These are not new requirements if you look at the year of the affected laws. These only affect the election to Federal offices.

In another loss, Federal Court Enjoins Oppressive Florida Rule Designed to Make Voter Registration Difficult.

A law suit was filed in the Federal Court in Tallahassee by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Rock the Vote over the changes the Republicans made to the election law covering the registration process. One of the first people to run afoul of the change in the law was a teacher who was trying to get students to register and vote if they were eligible.

Mustang Bobby also noted that Florida Election Laws Get Federal Attention, and he has different sources, so the emphasis is different.

7 comments

1 Badtux { 06.01.12 at 9:35 pm }

The Justice Department sent the Florida Department of Elections a sternly-worded letter, which has them laughing in the hallways of the state capitol and publicly promising to ignore it. Nothing short of a court order with threat of imprisonment for contempt is going to get their attention. I suppose the letter had to be sent prior to trotting before a judge, but given the blatant violation of the law involved, the letter probably should have been a court summons, not a sternly worded “Don’t do that!”.

Reminds me of when Dubya said of the Constitution, “it’s just a piece of paper.” If there’s no consequences, the Republican crime syndicate simply ignores the law, laughs about it even.

– Badtux the Criminal-scryin’ Penguin

2 Bryan { 06.01.12 at 10:10 pm }

It is quite clear that they violated the laws, and there will be sanctions. The DOJ should ‘make an example’ of the Florida election officials to stop this crap, because it will spread if Florida gets away with it.

The Republicans don’t care. If they get dinged, they will claim to be victims of a ‘political attack’.

3 Badtux { 06.02.12 at 12:27 am }

And in other war on voting news, today the California Assembly passed a bill that allows registering to vote on election day with nothing more than a photo ID and a utility bill or other piece of mail with your current address on it. The Senate and Governor Brown are expected to rubber stamp it tomorrow. One of the few times I can be proud of how California state government works…

4 jams o donnell { 06.02.12 at 6:40 am }

The ghost of Elbridge Gerry must be smiling!

5 Bryan { 06.02.12 at 2:31 pm }

Gee, a state government that wants people to vote – how quaint.

I can guarantee he was outshone in map drawing in the 2001 redistricting by Republicans in Florida, Jams. That’s why two-thirds of those elected are Republicans in both house of our legislature despite being well behind the Florida Democrats in actual party registration.

6 Badtux { 06.02.12 at 10:03 pm }

Looks like the local voter registrars in Florida have stopped purging. The dweebs in Tallywhackeree might laugh at the notion of going to jail, but local voter registrars apparently have decided collectively that they don’t look good in stripes :).

7 Bryan { 06.02.12 at 11:38 pm }

Supervisors of Elections are elected county officials, and independent in everything but the certification of votes for state-wide elections. They know a loser when they see it, and are personally responsible for what happens in their county. The office is as non-partisan as any elected office can be, certainly less partisan than judicial races. They have their own legal counsel and do not mess with the Feds, because that is a loser from the get-go.

I just published on preliminary results from Miami-Dade, and it is a replay of Scott’s program for drug testing welfare applicants, i.e. the facts prove that the money and effort was wasted. Those ‘lists’ that the state bought for this charade are expensive, and normally years out of date.

The reality is that the vital statistics information that is needed to be effective doesn’t actually exist. If you are lucky, the state holds birth and death records, but in most states it is maintained at the county level, and in New York it is a function of townships, which are a subdivision of counties.

States are starting to centralize the records, but many states are late to even have records. This ‘citizenship’ thing is new to the US, and no one spent a lot of time on it in the last century.

Come to think of it – no one has seen Rick Scott”s birth certificate … hmmm.