Six months before the presidential election, the Florida ground game is already under way. In political terms, the ground game is the process of mobilizing voters and getting them to the polls. And the first step is registering people to vote. But in Florida this year, there are tough new restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. The restrictions already appear to be having an impact on the number of people who are registering to vote. “We go to dense Hispanic neighborhoods — shopping plazas, supermarkets,” says Natalie Carlier of the National Council of La Raza, “and basically we’re just out there talking to people, letting them know that we’re providing a service and that we want them to vote.”
With clipboard in hand, canvasser Melli Romero approaches shoppers at the bustling La Mia Supermarket in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood, asking if they have a voter registration card and, if they don’t, whether they’d like to sign up to vote. Shoppers come and go while music blares from a nearby coffee shop. It’s one of the places where Carlier says her group likes to register new voters. Over the past two months, Romero and others with NCLR have registered nearly 10,000 Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade County.
This is work the group has done before, but this year, registering a voter has become more time-consuming and exacting than in the past. Each canvasser now must first register with the state. And groups must turn in completed forms within 48 hours — rather than the 10 days they had previously — or they’ll face significant penalties. Carlier says that puts them on a tight schedule.
Full Article: In Florida, Registering Voters A Whole New Game : NPR.