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U.S. Court of Appeals dismisses ACLU challenge to Florida voter purge

Democratic U.S. Reps urge Gov. Rick Scott not to renew last year's flawed voter purge

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180,000

NUMBER OF NAMES ORIGINALLY TARGETED BY GOV. RICK SCOTT IN THE 2012 VOTER PURGE;
AFTER PUBLIC AND FEDERAL SCRUTINY, THAT NUMBER WAS REDUCED TO 198

 

61 PERCENT

 

PORTION OF THAT ORIGINAL LIST WITH HISPANIC SURNAMES, DESPITE THE FACT THAT JUST 14 PERCENT OF REGISTERED FLORIDIAN VOTERS ARE HISPANIC

 

201,000

 

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF POTENTIAL FLORIDIAN VOTERS DISCOURAGED FROM VOTING IN NOVEMBER 2012 BY LONG LINES THAT REPORTEDLY AFFECTED BLACK AND LATINO VOTERS TWICE AS MUCH AS WHITE VOTERS

 

“YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT FLORIDA’S LEGISLATURE IS CHOMPING AT THE BIT FOR THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION TO SEE WHAT OTHER VOTER SUPPRESSION TACTICS THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH NOW THAT THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT NO LONGER KEEPS OUR LEGISLATURE IN CHECK.”
– AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF FLORIDA DIRECTOR HOWARD SIMON IN A JULY 24 PRESS RELEASE
Sources: Think Progress, ACLU

PURGE SCOURGE: PART TWO

In a week that finds this particular publication resplendent in the jewels of dressed-up democracy via our Best of Orlando poll, it’s interesting to note that real democracy – the kind that requires voter registration and participation in person – is currently under fire in a very big way in the state of Florida. Of course, the fact that Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Legislature have been averse to an inclusive and fair election process isn’t exactly news. It’s just that now their cruel intentions have been vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court, and, consequentially, by federal courts in Florida. Do you feel that? It’s the urge to purge again, princess.

Two years ago, citing nascent “voter fraud” that some Republicans have since admitted is code for “racism,” the Legislature was totally cool with shortening early voting hours and punishing voter-registration groups. (This year, some of that was undone – but not all of it – following November’s long-lined election-day clusterfuck.) Then last year, Gov. Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner pulled a list of 180,000 foreign-sounding names out of the air and attempted to purge them from the state’s voter rolls, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice to shut them down (even as local election officials rightfully scoffed at the voter-roll scrubbing). If you’re not white and rich and conservative with a simple last name in Florida, your state government doesn’t much care for your right to vote.

Things got worse on July 24, when the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit dismissed a year-old challenge to the purge filed in part by the American Civil Liberties Union that called into question the state’s methods in choosing the people it would force to suffer for their suffrage. The move was in the pipeline ever since the U.S. Supreme Court kicked the preclearance portions out of the Voting Rights Act last month, claiming that the anti-racism methods were no longer required in this post-racial society. Hell, we have a black president, right?

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