Our VoiceCulture

New Voter Laws Target Minorities

Glenn Hutchinson • Jun 11, 2012

Gov Rick Scott (R-FL)

 We need to stop this voting purge.

As a recent series in the Village Voice reported, 41 states are trying or have succeeded in making it more difficult to register and vote this November.  NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice estimates that millions of voters could be turned away at the polls.

For example, here in Florida, an important swing state in the upcoming election, Gov. Scott (R-FL) is purging the voter rolls, explaining that he’s concerned that illegal voting is taking place.  If people are suspected of being “illegal” voters, then they must prove they are “legal.”

The Tea Party Governor used the records of the DMV to identify people who might be non-citizens.  However, this information is unreliable.

Out of the thousands of people that the state is targeting, so far they have only found 2 people who possibly voted when they shouldn’t have.

But the damage is being done: 87% of the voters “targeted” are minorities.  According to the Miami Herald, most of the people asked to prove their citizenship are Independents and Democrats.  However, statistics show if you are white and vote Republican, you are less likely to be targeted.

Bill Internicola, 91 year-old veteran

Such craziness even affected a 91 year-old World War II veteran.  Gov. Scott’s purging program mailed a letter to a Bill Internicola, saying that he was not a U.S. citizen (see sample letter).  This man was born in Brooklyn, NY, and fought for our country, but he has to prove that he is an eligible voter.

Gov. Scott ignored the fact that he is violating the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 that prevents removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of an election.

The following chart from ThinkProgress shows that many of the targeted voters are in immigrant-rich Miami, and many people did not respond to the letter.  Therefore, citizens will be purged from the voter rolls by not responding.  Gov. Scott’s plan is discouraging eligible voters just in time for the fall election.

Although the Federal government has ordered this purge to stop and the ACLU is suing Florida, Gov. Scott is determined to continue.

We need to speak up and stop this purging.  Please sign this petition to stop Gov. Scott’s voter suppression.



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