District Judge Robert Hinkle announced Wednesday that he will granting a motion to permanently block strict voter registration laws that prevent third-party organizations from registering new voters in Florida. Hinkle will be able to officially grant the motion once a federal appeals court dismisses the case. The State of Florida has agreed to drop the appeal they had filed in the federal appeals court.
The voter registration laws in question would have placed harsh restrictions on which organizations could register voters, a 48 hour time frame on submitting registration forms, and fines against organizations and individual volunteers who violated the new guidelines. An injunction in May 2012 temporarily blocked the law.
Other voter suppression measures were blocked this week. On Tuesday a federal court blocked a 2006 Ohio law that threw out ballots cast at the wrong precinct, even if they were cast at the correct polling location. On Thursday, a federal court blocked a law requiring voters to present an approved photo ID before voting in Texas.
Voter suppression legislation has recently passed in 19 states, with the legislation being put into law in 17 states. The laws have the potential to disenfranchise up to 5 million people in the U.S. and are specifically designed to target people of color, young people, women, and people living in poverty.
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 8/30/12; Brennan Center for Justice 8/29/12; U.S. District Court 8/29/12; Talking Points Memo 8/29/12; Feminist Newswire 8/31/12