Online Advocacy Coordinator, ACLU of Florida
(Cartoon by Bill Sanders of Sanders cartoon-commentary)
Here at the ACLU of Florida, we produce a lot of resources to help people in Florida know their rights. In this cartoon, it looks like Governor Rick Scott has decided to do our job for us with the state’s new election laws.
Last year, the legislature passed and the governor signed a law that overhauled the state’s election code, making it harder for many Floridians – especially students, seniors, and racial minorities – to register to vote, to cast a vote and to have their vote counted. This voter suppression trifecta has earned the name “The Voter Suppression Act” among voting rights advocates.
The ACLU of Florida has been fighting the Voter Suppression Act since an emergency meeting with many of our staff was called last year the day an “amendment” to a half-page bill turned it into the 15-page assault on the bedrock of our democracy that is now part of how Florida handles elections. Since that day, we’ve been fighting the bill, first in the legislature, then before the US Department of Justice, and now in the courts. Our case is currently before a federal court in Washington DC, where a judge will determine whether the law violates the Voting Rights Act.
Last week, the US Department of Justice said that the state has failed to prove that the law doesn’t violate the Voting Rights Act (the state’s attorneys, for their part, have argued that courts should toss out the Voting Rights Act).
The debacle this law has caused and the work the ACLU of Florida is doing to fight it were recently featured on The Colbert Report. Until it’s resolved, however, voting in Florida has just gotten a lot more disorienting – even if you do have a Rick Scott-approved map.