Voting Rights Groups Fight Voter Suppression In Florida07/22/11 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Monday)
The changes passed by the state legislature to Floridaâ€™s voting laws have proved quite controversial.
Several civil liberties, civil rights and voter advocacy groups have criticized the changes. Last month three groups sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, urging the federal government to reject the latest changes to Florida election laws. The Fair Elections Legal Network, Florida Public Interest Research Group and Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment want the feds to refuse to "pre-clear" the new law, which Gov. Rick Scott signed a few weeks ago.
The groups cited three specific objections: reducing early voting from 14 days to eight, and eliminating early voting on the Sunday before the election; imposing new registration requirements and shorter filing deadlines on third party groups that register voters; and requiring voters who move from one county to another to file a provisional ballot when they update their voting address.
Federal approval of voting-law changes in Florida is required because of past cases of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities in five counties: Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough and Monroe. That decision is expected to come soon.
Next week there will be a series of protect the vote rallies in Central Florida. And weâ€™re joined now by representatives of three groups involved in organizing the rallies. Joining us now: Deirdre McNabb is president of the Florida League of Women Voters and Mike Pheneger is state president of the Florida ACLU.
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