Block the vote

If you have doubted that the efforts of Republican state legislators to suppress minority voting are succeeding, ponder this news. From the time when Florida’s new election law took effect in July of last year through late March of this year, 81,471 fewer people have registered to vote than during the same period before the 2008 elections. This is the troubling finding of an analysis by the New York Times, reported by Michael Cooper and Jo Craven McGinty.

Among the law’s burdens is a requirement that groups conducting registration drives must “turn in completed forms within 48 hours or face fines.” This threat of being penalized for not meeting this absurdly unrealistic deadline has been so discouraging that groups like Rock the Vote and the League of Women Voters have abandoned their registration campaigns in the state.

Charles Peters

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.