Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Florida’s New Voting Law Makes It Harder To Vote

League and Catalyst 

launch voter registration drive, 

"we're back!"
Catalyst Miami has launched the Florida Nonprofit Voter Rights Campaign to create easy access and voter education to support the upcoming election. Under new Florida voting laws, now being appealed and temporarily set aside, organizations are no longer allowed to register eligible voters unless they follow complex and demanding rules with steep penalties. In response, Catalyst Miami has partnered with TurboVote, a new program funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It allows individuals with access to a computer, email address and cellular phone to self-register and receive assistance with voter registration, early voting and absentee voting. Helping to support nonprofit groups registering people to vote is extremely important, since certain groups in American society, according to Census data, register more frequently through voting drives sponsored by such organizations. Unfortunately, one new requirement is that voters present government-issued photo identification before voting, making it harder for them to vote by requiring that they first make a trip to a major government agency. Another requirement is that voter registration papers be submitted to the government within 48 hours (as opposed to the old rule, which required submission with 10 days). In addition, the new law also cuts short the early voting period and makes it more difficult for voters to update their new addresses at the polls. 

Catalyst will prepare materials on voter referenda (pros and cons with background information in user-friendly versions) and voter scorecards on key topics of interest to nonprofits and their constituents (specifically health, education and economic opportunity). CM is looking to bridge the voters' rights campaign with Its Imagine Miami series. Click here for more information.

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