Friday, August 31, 2012 11:50

Texas, Florida Voter Suppression Attempts Roadblocked


Mike Hall

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this afternoon blocked Texas’ new voter ID law, ruling that it discriminated against minority voters. Yesterday in Florida, a federal judge struck down what he called “harsh and impractical” restrictions on voter registration imposed by a voter suppression law signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2011.

In the Texas case, the judges ruled that the cost of the obtaining the required state ID—about $22, according to the U.S. Department of Justice—would fall most heavily on African American and Hispanic voters. The law was signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) last year. Texas officials say they will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Florida, the voter registration restrictions were aimed at non-partisan voter registration drives and imposed a 48-hour deadline to turn in new voter forms or face stiff fines. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle wrote that voter registration drives are “core First Amendment” activities covered by the Constitution.

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