On August 17th, I reported on AI that a panel of three federal judges struck down the GOP’s attempts to shorten early voting days in Florida. Now a Federal Judge has also struck down Forida’s restrictive “third-party” voter registration drives and efforts to register voters by non-partisan groups (such as the League of Women Voters) and even public school civics-class high school teachers…who have faced threats of fines and jail.
According to a report from the Maddow Blog, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, issued his permanent ruling today, overturning the onerous registration requirements, ruling in a suit filed last December by the League of Women Voter of Florida, Rock the Vote, and the Florida Public Interest Research Education Fund.
The registration suppression efforts which were challenged in court had required all registration forms for newly registered voters to be turned in within 72-hours to state/county offices (including weekends). The GOP enacted requirements seriously hampered voter registration canvassing efforts in the state, greatly impacting the number of new voter registrations, and creating an enormous imbalance between new Republican-Party registrations and Democratic-Party registrations, which – up until the new law – had heavily favored Democrats in 2004 and 2008.
In the midst of the Republican Convention in Tampa, South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley boasted, last night, about her state’s Voter ID laws, comparing voting to buying Sudafed and flying on airplanes. Amid similar GOP voter suppression efforts in key states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio – the Wednesday permanent injunction by a Federal Court is a glimmer of hope in the battle to preserve the democratic, constitutionally guaranteed right to vote…now under relentless attack by the Republican Party. Republicans have realized that their Mega-Bucks wealthy Super PAC attack ads and campaign lies, distortions and racist-tinged and false message on Welfare Work Requirements just may not reach and deceive enough White voters in November to buy the empty rhetoric of the Romney/Ryan Campaign.
Therefore, voter suppression and intimidation of likely Democratic leaning demographics (students, minorities, the poor and elderly) and voter apathy are the other key linchpins of their strategy to capture the White House and control of Congress. As reported elsewhere on AI, even Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner ( “The Weeping Willow on the Potomac”), has admitted that the Republican strategy is to keep as many minority (and other Democratic demographics) voters from voting.