Voter Suppression

DOJ Challenges Another Discriminatory Voting Law

The Department of Justice is signaling that it may file a challenge to a new Florida law which prohibits third-party non-profits from registering voters on the grounds that the state has not proven the law isn't discriminatory.

The Justice Department objected late Friday to new provisions of Florida election law which place strict regulations on third-party voter registration groups and cut down on the early voting period. DOJ alleged in a court filing that Florida was unable to prove the new provisions were not discriminatory under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

“As to the third-party voter registration and early voting changes enacted… respectively, the United States’ position is that the State has not met its burden, on behalf of its covered counties, that the two sets of proposed voting changes are entitled to preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” according to a court filing. [...]

Non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters have ended their voter registration efforts in the state because of the law, which forces individuals conducting voter registration drives to get permission from the state and turn in voter registration cards within 48 hours of a voter filling them out. The League of Women Voters, the Brennan Center, and Rock The Vote are also fighting that provision of the law in court and an initial hearing was held earlier this week.

It dawns on me that we're entering a period of time wherein the Department of Justice may soon be objecting to discriminatory laws in every deeply southern state.

Florida now joins the ranks of South Carolina and Alabama currently facing scrutiny by the Department of Justice. South Carolina is facing a lawsuit over its voter suppression ID law, and Alabama is facing a lawsuit over "papers please." And while other upstanding individuals such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker double their effort to transplant Alabama to the north, the problem seems to be at least partially isolated, but not entirely exclusive, to the south.

The south can't physically remove minorities, so the new plan appears to be legislating them out of the electorate.