Sunday, October 30, 2011

Voter Suppression Law Hits Snag

The Federal District in the District of Columbia denied the request by Gov. Rick Scott and Sec. of State Kurt Browning to expedite for a hearing. The three judge panel told the Florida government attorneys that the state has caused several delays of their own.

In denying the state’s request for a quick hearing and decision, the federal three judge panel cited the state’s own repeated delays in getting the law approved and concurrent decision to move forward the Presidential Primary date to January. The Court cited the state’s three week delay in seeking approval of the changes from the Department of Justice, failure of the state to seek expedited review, removing provisions of the law from DOJ review after 50 of the 60 days had expired, filing in federal court, and amending their filing to challenge the Voting Rights Act as examples that any time pressure for a decision was caused by the state itself.

Scott and Browning did not wait for a Justice Department review. They implemented the new election law. That means some counties have the new election law and other counties are under the Civil Rights Voting Act protection. Short answer: Florida has two sets of election laws. This is how serious of a policy wonk Rick Scott is.

Below is a statement from Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida on today’s decision: “The Court was right to say this is a mess created by the Governor and the Legislature. In denying their request for a ‘drive by hearing’, the Court essentially said that the state’s failure to take this issue seriously until recently is no one’s fault but their own.

“Thanks to Governor Scott and Secretary Browning, Florida is in position yet again to turn our elections into a mockery by conducting an important, nationally significant election under two different sets of election rules depending on where you live. Under the system which will be in place now, a voter in Pinellas will vote under different rules than a voter across the bridge in Hillsborough.

The Florida legislature passed this law under the bogus threat of voter fraud. When Republicans are asked to name an instance of voter fraud they will say that Mickey Mouse voted. The Mickey Mouse story is bogus.

Rep. Eric Eisnaugle:

"One of my colleagues suggested that we spent hours of time on a problem that doesn't exist, also suggesting that nothing in this bill helps people vote," he said. "Well, members, it doesn't take much to find the documentation of fraud that some third-party registration organizations have committed right here in Florida. Just go on Google, and go to the news section and you can find a pretty long list of articles documenting the fraud we have seen. We have seen allegations of fraud, (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) investigations. (We have seen) falsifying of hundreds of registrations, including the registration of an actor who was already deceased at the time. In another case, Mickey Mouse was registered to vote.

Politifact rated the Mickey Mouse tale false. There are two ways to look at this. The first is that Republican legislators are poorly informed people that will believe anything printed on web sites like InstaPundit and World Net Daily. The second is that redistricting and President Barack Obama on the top of the ballot scares the daylights out of Tallahassee. Whatever reason, these Scott, Browning, and the legislators are so appallingly incompetent that may fail at enacting their horrible voting law. Republicans say government doesn't work. Especially, when Tallahassee Republicans are governing.

Fla v Usa 55 Order on Motion to Expedite

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