June 1, 2012

Big Win for Voters in Florida! Federal Judge blocks suppressive voter registration law

This blog has been cross-posted from the Southern Energy Network blog.

Great news for voters in Florida this week – yesterday, a Federal judge struck down key portions of Florida voter law HB 1355, which puts restrictions on third party voter registration drives, hindering their ability to register and empower voters.

The judge claimed that the provision that requires voter registration forms to be turned in within 48 hours of an organization receiving it puts an unnecessary burden on third-party drives, and stopped officials from enforcing the rule. “Allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter-registration drives—thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote—promotes democracy,” said U.S. Judge Robert L. Hinkle.

For voter registration drives such as the one FL YES Coalition leaders Will Wysong, Alexander Saunders and Alexandra Colby have been leading on their campuses and communities, this is great news. “Despite the harsh laws in place, we continued our push,” says Southern Energy Network Fellow Alex Saunders.  “Our number one priorities have always been to empower student voters and demand that our elected officials acknowledge climate change and advocate towards clean energy policies.  The overturning of the bill has reduced the intimidation and stress of this targeted law and has made it easier for non-profit groups to stay focused.”

With this victory, our incredible organizers on the ground are able to refocus on their mission: to register thousands of young people to vote, with climate change and clean energy as a top priority. And we’re going to hit the streets harder than ever!