Voting rights challenges are underway across the country as Republicans try every trick they can come up with to win the 2012 presidential election.
In Florida that included passing a series of changes to the state’s elections laws that the Department of Justice contends violates the federal Voting Rights Act. Late Thursday a panel of federal judges agreed.
The judges ruled that the Florida law that limits the number of early voting days cannot be implemented in several counties because it would have an adverse impact on minority turnout. Those counties are ones covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which requires certain areas with a history of racial discrimination in voting and election administration to have their election laws and procedures precleared by either a federal court of the Justice Department prior to implementation.
“In sum, Florida is left with nothing to rebut either the testimony of the defendants’ witnesses or the common-sense judgment that a dramatic reduction in the form of voting that is disproportionately used by African-Americans would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot than under the benchmark law,” the court ruled.
Gov. Rick Scott (R) is among a host of Republican governors who believes the Voting Rights Act to be unconstitutional, and once his administration took office he set out to openly defy it. Those efforts have been thwarted for now, but if one thing is for certain it’s that conservatives don’t give up that easily.