Florida Republicans ramp up their 'really dangerous' voter suppression campaign

Florida Republicans ramp up their 'really dangerous' voter suppression campaign

During Ron DeSantis' years as governor of Florida, voter suppression has been a high priority for Republicans in the Sunshine State. And Florida Republicans, in 2023, are trying to expand voter suppression with new restrictions aimed at third-party voter registration groups.

The restrictions are part of a 96-page election bill being proposed in the Republican-dominated Florida State Legislature. If the bill makes it to DeSantis' desk for consideration, he would almost certainly sign it into law. So far, it has passed in the Florida State Senate, and it appears likely to pass in the Florida House of Representatives as well.

The bill, according to The Guardian's Sam Levine, would be especially bad for non-white voters.

READ MORE: These GOP-sponsored bills would 'restrict voting' by imposing harsh 'criminal penalties': report

"The measure increases fines for third-party voter registration groups," Levine reports in an article published on April 28. "It also shortens the amount of time the groups have to turn in any voter registration applications they collect from 14 days to ten. The bill makes it illegal for non-citizens and people convicted of certain felonies to 'collect or handle' voter registration applications on behalf of third-party groups."

Levine adds, "Groups would also have to give each voter they register a receipt and be required to register themselves with the state ahead of each general election cycle. Under current law, they only have to register once, and their registration remains effective indefinitely…. Those restrictions are more likely to affect non-white Floridians."

Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, is vehemently critical of the bill. Smith notes that in Florida, non-white voters are five times more likely than white voters to register via a third-party group. And that fact, Smith argues, is "likely not lost on those pushing the legislation."

Smith told The Guardian, "This will likely be the final nail in the coffin for third-party groups to be able to register voters in Florida."

READ MORE: How 'authoritarian' Ron DeSantis has made Florida a 'laboratory of fascist politics': scholar

Andrea Mercado, executive director of the nonprofit Florida Rising, is another scathing critic of the bill — which, she told The Guardian, exemplifies "a really dangerous trend in Florida and across our country that is moving away from democracy." And Cecile Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters' Florida chapter, predicts that some third-party groups will quit registering voters altogether if the bill becomes law.

Scoon told The Guardian, "I think there are a lot of small organizations that don't feel they can play in that league of fines. I think you're going to get a lot of people that say, 'Hey, we can't handle this. We're just a little church. We're just a little chapter of a sorority. We don't have the resources.'"

READ MORE: The Republican voter suppression nightmare

Read The Guardian's full report at this link.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.