Senate Hearing Spotlights Voting Law Changes in FloridaRelease Date: January 27, 2012, 5:01 pm
New Laws Will Have a Chilling Effect on Registration, Turnout and Cause Many Votes To Be Rejected
Washington, DC – Today the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights held a hearing in Tampa, FL to examine recent laws passed throughout the country, including in Florida that would restrict voter’s ability to cast a ballot. The Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) released the following statement regarding the hearing:
“This past decade, Florida made several changes to its laws that made voting more convenient and certain for voters. Unfortunately, last year, the Florida legislature reversed course and joined several states by passing laws that would restrict access to the ballot for minorities, young adults, and working people.
Florida’s new voting laws suppress voting by placing onerous restrictions on teachers, churches, and civic organizations that register voters, reducing the popular early voting period that provides conveniences for those that can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, and increasing the likelihood that registered voters facing foreclosures, searching for work, or attending school will not have their ballot counted because they moved to a different county in the state.
Florida is one of several states across the country that has enacted legislation aimed at making it harder for many eligible voters to cast a ballot. The U.S. Senate hearing held today is one step towards shining light on a cynical attempt to suppress turnout for partisan gain. The right to vote is sacred in our democracy. Instead of focusing on legislation that will make it harder to vote, lawmakers should pass laws that modernize our election system and, lead to more registrations and more votes.”