We have a basic right here in the United States. It’s called voting.
It might sound familiar to you. It guarantees that each individual, regardless of age or status, has a say in his or her government. Does this ring a bell?
Well thanks to Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican legislature, that right is now a privilege. Last Thursday, Scott signed a bill into law that dismantles the Democratic process in Florida, and will undoubtedly disenfranchise many voters, especially students.
Republicans claim that the legislation, House Bill 1355, was passed in order to prevent voter fraud. However, supervisors of elections from across Florida say those fears are unfounded. Their statewide association released a statement that said the changes could cause chaos and confusion at the polls next year, according to an article in the Miami Herald.
Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles contends Florida already has a system proven to prevent voter fraud, according to the Herald. Every voter has a unique identification number and must present a form of photo identification before receiving a ballot. According to Cowles, this system was never mentioned in the legislative debates on the bill. Instead, the debates revolved around who should be allowed to vote.
Rather than a given right, Republican State Sen. Mike Bennett argued that voting is a “hard-fought privilege” that we should fight for, according to Politifact. And fight we did.
According to a review of records from Scott’s office by the Orlando Sentinel, they received 15,443 e-mails, calls and letters through May 12 – the majority urging the governor to veto this bill. The bill makes it harder to register to vote, cast your vote or even to have it counted.
Full Article: Central Florida Future.