The GOPs in our legislature are terrified of the national mood against republican corruption and incompetence. So they took action.
No, they didn’t all of the sudden decide to become responsible legislators concerned about the welfare of the citizenry—they decided instead to eliminate their largest threat:
Non-partisan voting groups.
Unfortunately, it was effective. The nonpartisan groups, such as the League of Women Voters who have been registering voters here for almost 70 years, have been nullified with the new legislation. (Or as Jeb likes to say, “devious plan”.)
The League of Women Voters, along with many other groups, are simply not registering new voters this year because this outrageous law imposes severe fines and tight deadlines:
For each and every voter registration form submitted more than ten days after the form was collected from a prospective voter, the Florida government will impose a fine of $250
Each registration form submitted after the passing of a registration deadline, the fine is $500.
If a registration form is not submitted, for any reason, the fine per form jumps to $5,000!
And it gets better—the law includes a “strict liability” legal standard, meaning that no extenuating circumstance -- not even destruction of an office by fire or a hurricane -- will excuse the failure to submit a registration form!
Of course, republicans want to register their own people without the fear of these draconian fines—so PARTISAN groups and partisans working for political parties are exempt. (It’s those evil NONpartisans that we have to watch out for.)
And since the GOP knows that their budgets are small, they calculated that these groups wouldn’t risk a mistake or accident that could wipe them out. And they also know that there will be less volunteers, since the canvassers can be held personally liable.
It follows a larger cohesive strategy by the GOP: Keep the vote LIGHT! The more involvement, the less likely the GOP is to win.
You can track this same type of story in just about every state: whether its imposing voter IDs in GA, fighting for legal support of “Challengers” who harass people standing in lines in PA, requiring registration forms to be cardboard in OH, or trying to purge voters from the voter rolls here in FL; it is always the same story.
Suppress the vote and win at any cost—even if it destroys the democracy you claim to serve.
My recommendation: Reach out to each of these groups that have shut down because of this law, and offer them a chance to sign up voters with us. It's the GOP who is suppressing them, so let's turn this GOP problem into an opportunity to help us and, in turn, help Florida. A Dem majority will shut down this law and others like it that assault our democracy. Things can and will get better if we all agree to help each other.