I've been writing about the numerous attempts at VOTER SUPPRESSION by the GOP just in time for the 2012 election. No state is more obvious about it than FLORIDA.
There is absolutely a concerted effort by the new GOP thug Governor and GOP-led legislature to pretty much LEGISLATE THE VOTER SUPPRESSION OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTERS.
Rachel Maddow gives you a great background on Florida and what happened between 2004, when George Bush won the state, and 2008, when Barack Obama won the state handily. And, all the legal maneuvers of the GOP to undo/block every method the Democratic Party used in 2008 to get Democratic Party voters to the polls. Maddow has been doing a yoeman's job, almost single-handedly pointing out the attempts at Voter Suppression spread over a multi-state strategy. It's a very instructive piece; I wonder if those in the DNC are paying attention:
I wrote in a previous post how the new Criminal who happens to be Governor in Florida reversed what former Governor Charlie Crist had done with regards to restoring voting rights for ex-felons. He stripped those ex-felons of their voting rights. Considering that the prison population in Florida looks like the prison population in the rest of the country, what color of voters do you think this recent reversal mostly affects?
From the SunSentinel:
Lawmakers push voting laws revamp
The legislation, HB 1355, makes it harder to change your address at a polling place, changes third party voter registration rules and alters the ballot initiative process, among other changes. A companion Senate measure, which has yet to make it to the Senate floor, also reduces the period of early voting.
“Our greatest responsibility is to protect the integrity of this process so the result has credibility and if we fail to do that we disenfranchise every person that participates in that process,” said House sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.
The changes could have a major impact on the 2012 presidential election. Many college students who may previously register at their parents’ home can currently change their address on Election Day at the polls, and many do, election supervisors have said. But under the change proposed in the House bill, Floridians would only be able to do that if their initial registration was within the same county as the college or university they attend.
Democrats have been united against the bill and attacked Republicans for proposing legislation that they said will make it harder for people to vote.
Lawmakers debated for several hours and considered more than 40 amendments to change the bill. Proposals by Democrats, which were all shot down by the Republican majority, included a requirement that the Secretary of State investigate all instances of attempts to disenfranchise voters, bans members of the Legislature or Cabinet from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions for federal office during a legislative session and allow college students and military families to change registration at the polls regardless of county.
So, ex-felons, college students, and EVEN THE MILITARY. They don't even respect the right of the votes of Military Men and Women.
From the Miami Herald
Between them, the House and Senate bills would cut early voting from two weeks to one; force people who need to update their name or address on Election Day (say, due to marriage or divorce or a move by a military family) to vote on provisional ballots; and impose onerous restrictions on groups registering people to vote.
In the most extreme case, Republicans hope to pack the Supreme Court to undermine the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts Amendments voted through by a public who actually thought the authoritarians in Tallahassee would let a little thing like the Constitution come between them and their stranglehold on power.
And in an especially creative flourish, Rick Scott and his Cabinet have revived the spirit of Jim Crow by re-imposing restrictions on voting rights restoration that had been brought into the 21st Century by former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Florida’s two-week early voting period was among the reforms meant to prevent embarrassments like the 2000 election. It was a hard-won victory for working people who sometimes can’t get to the polls if they work odd hours, or run out of time to resolve a problem at the polls.
Arguably, it also contributed to Obama’s Florida win in 2008, as black churches and college students took full advantage of the extra time (and the history-making opportunity).
Held harmless by the “reformers” will be absentee voting, which happens to be the method used most effectively by Republicans.
How important was Early Voting in 2008?
ONE-THIRD of all Ballots cast in 2008 were done so during the period of Early Voting.
ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE VOTES.
And now, they want to cut that time allowed to Early Vote, in half, so when Election Day comes, guess what, we'll have what usually occurs in precincts where the voters HAVE MELANIN ----older voting machines, fewer voting machines, voting machines that break down ----thus causing longer lines, and of course, who has hours upon hours to wait to vote? Surely not a large working class population. Just another form of VOTER SUPPRESSION.
Provisional ballots are crock. It's the easiest way to discount someone's vote is to give them a provisional. If one thing goes wrong with a provisional ballot, it is rejected. GUESS WHICH GROUPS are given a higher percentage of Provisional ballots than other groups? IF you guessed those with melanin, you would be correct. It's another form of VOTER SUPPRESSION.
But, interesting, that, in their search, to ' reform' voting in Florida, they left Absentee voting alone? Guess who votes Absentee higher percentage-wise? If you guessed those without melanin, you would be correct.
More details about how the changes the GOP in Florida want would be adverse to young voters:
Young volunteers who want to register classmates at, for example, college football games or concerts would have to take an in-person oath at local elections offices and be financially liable for completed voter registration forms.
• Young voters who are now able to update their voter registration information, such as their address, at the polls will no longer be able to do that and would be forced to use provisional ballots, which are often not counted.
• Young people with questions at their polling place would not be able to receive legal assistance or other services from non-partisan election protection programs at the polls.
ALL of this is done under the guise of 'preventing voter fraud'. This is an absolute scam. For the GOP, when non-whites and young people, and anyone who doesn't vote Republican steps towards a voting booth- it's voter fraud. They CANNOT win elections based on little ' d'- democracy. They simply can't. They know it. Because nobody but their narrowing portion of the electoral field is voting for them.
They are NOT expanding the pool of voters from which to choose, because nobody wants to JOIN up with them. So, their plan for 2012, is to make sure that the Democrats can't sign up or register their voters, and if they do, to make it difficult for them to actually cast their vote. There is nothing in these bills that has anything to do with voter fraud. It has everything to do with VOTER SUPPRESSION, and it's a time honored tradition like literacy tests and poll taxes. Different tactic, same point. Keep your eyes on Florida.
They want to STEAL THE 2012 ELECTION IN 2011.