There is some good news for voters in Florida today. A Federal court partially struck down a Republican law that reduced the number of early voting days from 12 to eight. In the 170 page ruling, the Court concluded these restrictions would adversely affect minority voters.
In sum, Florida is left with nothing to rebut either the testimony of the defendants’witnesses or the common-sense judgment that a dramatic reduction in the form of voting that is disproportionately used by African-Americans would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot than under the benchmark law. We therefore conclude that Florida has not met its burden of proving that removing a third of the day sand half of the hours from its benchmark early voting procedures would have an on retrogressive effect on minority voting rights in the covered counties
Of course, it’s pretty hard for Florida’s republicans to deny that this law and others are intended to suppress minority votes because Former Republican Chairman, Jim Greer admitted it in June.
I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,
Greer further elaborated the Republican’s deliberate attempt to suppress the vote as an election strategy during an appearance on Rev. Al Sharpton’s show, Politics Nation.
Today’s ruling is restricted to Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough and Monroe counties because they are covered under section 5 of the Voters Rights Act.
Under that provision, changes in voting rights by States with a history of discriminatory practices are subject to review
either after an administrative review by the United States Attorney General, or after a lawsuit before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. This means that voting changes in covered jurisdictions may not be used until that review has been obtained.
This ruling is good news for people in the covered counties in Florida. Regardless, it remains important to protect your constitutional right to vote. You should confirm that you are registered to vote. You can check your status here.
Eligible voters, who are not registered, need to register by October 9, for the General Election. You can register on-line here.
Be sure you have the legally required ID with you when you go to vote.
In Florida, you need a valid ID with photo and signature.
If your photo ID does not have a signature, you will be asked to provide another ID that does contain your signature
You can use ID from this list. Remember that you must have valid ID with a photo and your signature on it.
Florida driver’s license
Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
United States passport
Debit or credit card
Retirement center identification
Neighborhood association identification
Public assistance identification.
If you don’t have ID, you will be given a provisional ballot. Your signature must match the one on your voter registration form.
You can find further information regarding Florida’s ID requirements here.
If you plan to vote with an absentee ballot, you can find information to make sure it counts here.
If you plan to vote early, the rules about dates, times and places depend on which county you live in as a result of the ruling.
According to CanIVote.org Many states offer online services that can help you look up your local voting site. Others list contact information for local election officials, who are trained to help you find your polling place.
Don’t let the Republicans steal your vote or this election. Make sure you’re registered. Make sure you have the ID you need and make sure you vote!
Image from Democratic Blog News