Although it seems like Gov. Rick Scott will make the bold and progressive move of banning bestiality, he still plans to screw voters. The election overhaul bill, which many see as backdoor disenfranchisement, cruised through the Legislature and now awaits the governor's signature. Throughout the legislative session, Scott not only supported the bill verbally but also led by example as he and his Cabinet brought back Jim Crow-style voting laws.
Well, it's about time that someone reminded Capo Scott about the Voting Rights Act, which was meant to ensure every citizen's right to vote by protecting them from states that exploited loopholes in the 15th Amendment. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires federal preclearance of any election law that could discriminate against minority voters. Section 5 covers five counties in Florida.
The NAACP and ACLU have already asked the Justice Department to investigate Florida's potential violation of the Voting Rights Act. Now, finally, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has done the same.
Nelson railed against the bill all week and barely acknowledged the feckless castigation that followed his remark about Osama Bin Laden's death. After both chambers of the Legislature approved the bill yesterday, Nelson admonished Scott in a letter in which he threatened to seek a federal investigation if Scott signs the bill into law.
In the letter, Nelson wrote:
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Please veto the election legislation the Florida Legislature just passed. No doubt you've seen the many criticisms, especially that it would significantly reduce the number of early-voting days. Because Florida has five counties needing federal approval in the event of major changes in election procedures, I have asked the U.S. Department of justice for an investigation if this bill becomes law.
There are just too many questions about whether this measure would disenfranchise an untold number of Floridians. I remain convinced it is bad for our democratic process.
Thank you for considering these concerns.
For some reason, I don't think Scott is shaking in his alligator boots. State lawmakers don't seem to fear the feds much either. So far, they've only expressed paranoia-fueled, delusional fears about federal health-care reform. Why else do you think pro-gun and anti-abortion legislation ate up so much of the session?