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Does Florida need the Voting Rights Act? The experts are divided

As a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court raised doubts about a central provision of the federal Voting Rights Act on Wednesday, the law’s defenders said the 2012 election provided a vivid example for why it was needed to protect Florida from voter suppression.

“Look at the performance of our governor and Legislature in the last election,’’ says Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida whose parent organization has joined in the lawsuit to retain the law. “They are walking advertisements for why we need the Voting Rights Act.”

After the Legislature passed a sweeping elections bill in 2011, the act’s provisions required the state to get federal approval from either a federal trial court or the Justice Department before the law could take effect in Monroe, Hillsborough, Hardee, Hendry and Collier counties.

In addition to seeking the review, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi challenged the act’s constitutionality. Former Secretary of State Kurt Browning called the provisions of the act an “arbitrary and irrational coverage formula based on data from 40 years ago that takes no account of current conditions.”

The five Florida counties have been subject to the pre-clearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act protections since 1975 because of a history of discrimination against language minorities. Monroe County, for example, failed to print ballots in Spanish even though the Spanish-speaking population was large enough to warrant its own ballot. Story here.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/27/3257775_florida-advocates-say-2012-proved.html#storylink=addthis#storylink=cpy

Comments

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RICH ELLIOTT

So does Florida's recent history (2011) suggest that their history of voter discrimination has gotten better. I think not, it simply illustrates that their pattern of discrimination continues. If the voting Rights Act doesn't apply we need new, stronger national standards so we can all trust that there is broad participation in the vote and that democracy is alive and well in the US.

artcohn

RICH ELLIOTT. Not true!The 2012 problems were due to the awful design, by the democratic Sec. of State, of the voting punch-cards that caused people to vote for a candidate whom they didn't want to vote for. Additionally, the left-wing networks hurriedly rushed their estimation of the voting results,predicting prematurely that Gore had won. Nothing to do with racial discrimination.

M.IBRAHIM KHAN

NOTHING CAN GO BEYOND THE SCOPE OF DEMOCRACRTIC RIGHTS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF AMERICAN CONSTITUTION. EVERYTHING CAN BE CHALLENGED IN THREAD BARE . VERY NICE EXAMPLE.

Jeff Vachon

No other country has its ballots in more than one language. Learn English!

Russ Utoft

Now if any person can not see threw this, well I have to say you just stupid. If this was so great way are the Republicans for this and Democrats not? You know there are thousands of people that do not want people of color to vote. They are now trying to rig elections.

Ryan

Short answer is no. Its archaic. And no longer needed.

Its stupid to have some states subject, and others not.

More blacks voted in november than in the history of our republic. By a large margin.

John N Florida

The reply from the courts on the early voting in the 5 counties of Florida covered by the VRA is ample proof that not only is the ;law needed, the Supervisors of Elections who implement the court orders must be protected from a vengeful Governor.
He twisted the arms of 4 Supervisors making them adhere to his preferred shortened schedule.
One Supervisor bucked Scott and Scott promised to get even.
He tried to oust him. Couldn't do it.
Now he's having the legislature write a bill that will allow him to fire Supervisors who don't comply with his illegal edicts.
Do we still need VRA?
He!! yes and more so as long as Scott is in Tallahassee.

Mervel Knithman

Now that proves my belief that it is a waste of time to vote in any elections.
Several elections ago I stoped voting because there is so much corruption and fighting about elections that I became disgusted. I knlow there are many people that vote when they should not that I decided not to ever vote again. Why?
It doesn't make any difference. They will do as they please anyway!

corneliusvansant

Why would anyone object to voter ID? Voter fraud is real and evidence of it is clear. I don't want my vote diluted by cheaters. Everyone who votes should have to stick their thumb in ink like they do in the Middle East. Let's assure that everyone votes just once.

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