Voters head to the polls in key races in many parts of the country Tuesday, while in Florida, there is a continuing battle over voter registration.
It began last Spring, when Republican governor Rick Scott signed a new law restricting early voting and putting stringent new requirements on voter registration drives. The rules were strong enough to force the League of Women voters to suspend its long standing voter registration drive.
Last week, a federal judge blocked key provisions of that law, saying there was no reason for them unless the goal is to discourage voter registration.
Also last week, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Florida demanding the state stop purging its voting rolls, saying the purge violates voter registration laws which require that voter roll maintenance be completed 90 days before an election.
- Miami Herald: How Obama Aided Scott’s Voter Purge Mess
Governor Scott says the purge is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Critics say it amounts to vote suppression. The Association of Florida Elections Supervisors wants the state to stop purging voting lists until the state settles this with the Justice Department.
In the background is the upcoming Presidential election, and Florida’s voting irregularities that had the U.S. Supreme Court deciding the winner of the 2000 Presidential election.
- Marc Caputo, political reporter for The Miami Herald