Again: Judge Slaps Down Scott on Restrictive Voter Registration Drives
Today, Gov. Rick Scott and his GOP-led Legislature got slapped down again when a federal judge ruled to permanently remove controversial restrictions on community-based voter registration drives.
Federal Judge Robert L. Hinkle issued an order stating the court will grant a request to permanently remove the restrictions, once he receives confirmation that a federal appeals court has dismissed the case.
In December, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (PIRG) filed a lawsuit challenging the onerous restrictions.
In May, Hinkle blocked a number of the restrictions, including the 48-hour deadline for return of completed forms. At the time, the judge said the restrictions violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law.
Reacting to today’s ruling, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida Deirdre Macnab said, “Florida’s anti-voter law created impassable roadblocks for our volunteers, who have been bringing fellow Floridians into our democratic process for over 72 years. Thanks to today’s ruling, we can finally put these roadblocks behind us and concentrate on getting Floridians registered to vote. We are grateful the court recognized that the Constitution does not tolerate these types of barriers to civic participation and voter registration.”
The Brennan Center for Democracy in New York, one of whose attorneys, Lee Rowland argued the case for the groups said, “This order (by the judge) is a decisive victory for Florida voters.”
Rowland added, “The Florida legislature has tried repeatedly to stifle access to voter registration opportunities, and once again a federal court has stopped them in their tracks. We are thrilled that voter registration groups can now get back to what they do best – expanding our democracy.”