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Florida’s latest voter suppression scheme thwarted

Westside Gazette
Originally posted 12/27/2007

On Dec 18, the Advancement Project, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and Project Vote won a preliminary injunction that blocks a Florida state law prohibiting applicants from registering to vote if the state cannot match or otherwise validate the driver’s license or Social Security number on a registration form. This law stood to disenfranchise tens of thousands of eligible applicants, particularly Black American and Latino voters, in the upcoming elections.

A federal court in Gainesville, Fla. held that Florida’s law conflicts with both the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. HAVA requires every state to obtain a unique identifying number for voter registration applicants, but it does not make the “verification” of one’s ID number a prerequisite for one’s eligibility to vote. As a result, the court ruled that Florida’s “matching” statute violates HAVA. The court also held that the matching process would result in thou-sands of eligible voters being denied the opportunity to vote “for reasons unrelated to their voter qualifications under the Florida Constitution,” thereby violating the Voting Rights Act. [Continue reading...]


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