Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Voter Registration Restrictions

Good news — Florida’s restrictions on voter registration, which has lead to staggeringly low registration, have been permanently removed by a federal judge.

Tallahassee, FL – Civic groups and Florida voters scored a decisive victory today when a federal judge indicated he will permanently remove controversial restrictions on community-based voter registration drives.

Federal Judge Robert L. Hinkle issued an order stating the court will grant the group’s request to permanently remove the restrictions once he receives confirmation that a federal appeals court has dismissed the case. […]

Today, the Court indicated that it will grant a joint motion filed by both the civic groups and the state of Florida permanently removing the restrictions. Both the civic groups and the state of Florida have agreed not to appeal the ruling. The parties separately signed a settlement that ends the case once the court granted this motion and awards the civic groups’ their attorneys’ costs.

The lawsuit to stop the new restrictions was filed by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote, and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. And there will be no appeal. It’s over.

Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the restrictions were unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

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  • http://twitter.com/GodIsDead Gern Blandston

    Next question is, will the fucking State abide by the ruling or will they continue their voter purges anyway?

    • JMAshby

      Separate issue. This was in regards to the ban on 3rd party registration. Meaning organizations, like the League of Women Voters, were banned from registering voters.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Many third party orgs completely abandoned the state because the changes were so restrictive. That’s why FL new voter registration was so drastically reduced. Here’s a chart that Maddow posted showing the collapse. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/28/13534859-chart-floridas-voter-registration-collapse?lite

      And Ashby is right, the voter purges are a separate issue. BUT it appears that many of the local election officials, the ones who would actually do the purging, didn’t obey Gov. Scott’s orders. AND when the Gov. called for another purge on Aug. 15th, the local officials are responding that “they are in election mode” and don’t have time to deal with another purge. Hopefully this will mitigate the damage done until a new case can be brought by a citizen who was purged incorrectly.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I wonder if that teacher who was arrested for encouraging her students to register will get an apology from Governor Golum now.