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Scott takes voting rights away from us

caines | 6/14/2012, 6 a.m.

There is something wrong with the Scott administration, when the judicial system continues to strike down laws the Florida legislature has passed. It was always my belief that voting was the essence of our democracy, and every political office holder believed they had a responsibility to extend this right to the largest number of citizens. But in Florida, it appears that our political leaders believe that a select few should have the right to vote and the system should be restrictive. In a highly-publicized decision, a federal judge in Tallahassee ordered that the state stop enforcing part of a new elections law that he said puts harsh and impractical restrictions on voter registration in the state. The League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund filed the Tallahassee suit in December, after the League halted voter registration drives out of concern that volunteers could receive fines up to $1,000. It was obvious that this bill was designed to eliminate new minority voters, and new young voters. U. S. District Judge Robert Hinkles order said, The part of the 2011 election law rewrite that requires third-party voter registration groups to turn in registration forms within 48 hours of signing up a new voter or face up to $1,000 in fines put a virtually impossible burden on groups engaging in voter sign-up. In 2008, there was the largest number of new voters to vote in a presidential election in the history of the country and many of the Republican strategists want to lower the number of new voters in the 2012 election. In 2008, there was the largest number of new voters to vote in a presidential election in the history of the country and many of the Republican strategists want to lower the number of new voters in the 2012 election. The short deadline, coupled with substantial penalties for compliance makes voter registration drives a risky business. If the goal is to discourage voter-registration drives and thus also to make it harder for new voters to register, the 48-hour deadline may succeed, Hinkle said. Instead of moving forward, our governor is taking steps to move backward. The governor and his administration appear to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. In the short time that Scott, his administration and the Republican Florida Legislature have been in office, they have passed many ridiculous and unconstitutional laws that have been geared to hurt minorities. The 1965 Voting Rights Act was enacted to protect minorities and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act was enacted to protect citizens from voter purges. But Scott has ordered his administration to go on a voter hunt and purge Florida voters from the voter rolls. Scotts administration has flagged 2,700 voters as potential non-citizens; 58 percent are Hispanic and the other largest minority is Black. Racism is still alive today and dont think because there are Black politicians everywhere, that racism has disappeared. Voting is all about power and the Republicans in power want to maintain control. Hispanics and Blacks have the potential to be a powerful voting bloc, if we work together. Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.By Roger CaldwellMiami Times contributor, jet38@bellsouth.net