Springfield This late in the game with an election looming in the critical, battleground state of Florida a lot of the damage is already done since the clock has already moved to the 11th hour in terms of registering new voters. Nonetheless, a federal judge in Florida finally will bring some justice to the matter by demanding a halt to several of the more draconian efforts by the state and its Republican majorities to suppress votes.
Some of Judge Robert Hinkle’s order bordered on the sarcastic according to the Times:
Judge Hinkle, however, banned a significant rule that forced third-party voter registration groups to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, calling the measure too vague.
“If the goal is to discourage voter registration drives and thus also to make it harder for new voters to register, this may work,” the judge wrote.
“Otherwise there is little reason for such a requirement.”
The ruling also opposed a provision of the law that opens up volunteers to possible felony charges if they registered ineligible voters, even if unknowingly.
Both of those requirements are likely to be found unconstitutional, Judge Hinkle wrote.
Yes, your honor, the Republican law-fakers might have said, were they honest about, that is exactly our intention: we want the access to voting to be us and our buddies, not the poor working stiffs and low income families for goodness sakes!
The Judge was clear in another way as well:
“Allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter registration drives — thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote — promotes democracy,” wrote Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Federal District Court in the order granting a temporary injunction.
What can we say, but, we told you so!