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Federal judge strikes down part of state election law

In a much-anticipated decision, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Thursday struck down some provisions of a Florida elections law that imposed new restrictions on third-party groups that register new voters.

Hinkle's order said that a 48-hour deadline for groups to turn in new voter registration forms is "harsh and impractical." But he said most of the other provisions of the law can stand.

At issue are key elements of House Bill 1355, the elections code rewrite that passed the Legislature in the 2011 session. Following the restrictions on third-party voter registration, the League of Women Voters suspended all voter registration activity in Florida.

-- Steve Bousquet