“It doesn’t matter who the losing political party is. The scheme is an affront to democracy.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott hates regulations. Indeed, the phrase “job-killing regulations” has become a virtual motto. But while he has little use for rules intended to protect the public health, consumers or the environment, he doesn’t object to “vote-killing” regulations.
The governor last week signed legislation aimed at making it tougher for the young and the poor to vote. The legislation prevents people who have moved from another county from changing their address at the polls, as they have been able to do for 40 years. They now will be forced to cast a provisional ballot.
The measure requires third-party groups that conduct registration drives to submit new registrations within 48 hours or face fines of up to $1,000. Previously, the deadline had been 10 days. The two-day restriction is a challenge for civic groups that depend on volunteers. The League of Women Voters, which has conducted voter-registration drives in Florida more than 70 years, will halt its efforts.
The measure reduces early voting from 15 days to eight days, though it extends voting time each day to maintain total voting hours at 96.
It is no coincidence that students and the poor, who are more likely to move frequently and are often the targets of registration drives, tend to vote Democratic. Or that early voting has been popular with Democrats, who outnumbered registered Republicans by about 568,000 in Florida as of last month.
The goal here obviously is to stack the voting process in favor of Republicans, who already have an overwhelming majority in the Legislature and hold all statewide elected executive offices. But it doesn’t matter who the losing political party is. The scheme is an affront to democracy.
Full Article: Vote-killing regulations | TBO.com.