NAACP asks DOJ Voting to reject Florida election integrity law

Kirsten Clarke, et al, in a letter to Chris Herren, Voting Section Chief of at the Justice Department, requests DOJ to object to the new Florida law designed to cut down on mischief involving Acorn-style voter registration drives.  The Florida law does three primary things: 1) limit the time Acorn-style groups can sit on voter registration forms they have collected, 2) compress the dates of early voting but keep the same number of hours, and 3) require voters who no longer live where they are registered to cast a provisional ballot to be verified later in the precinct they have moved to but failed to move their voter registration.  These three requirements, according to Clarke and the NAACP, are racially discriminatory.  Read the full letter here.

Florida may have gravely miscalculated by sending this law to the Justice Department for approval.  Instead, Florida could have gone straight to the United States District Court in D.C. for approval by a judge.  Because Florida instead chose to submit to Eric Holder's Justice Department, it opened the door for lobbying by Clarke and other well connected racial interest groups.  Consider Virginia.  Virginia knew that it was a bad idea to submit only to the DOJ and instead also went to court for approval of its redistricting plan, which it got yesterday.  Because the case was before the court, badgering by Clarke and others were effectively ignored.  The DOJ felt the heat of the court imposed timetable, and other heat, and approved the plan.

Florida may not enjoy the same fate as Virginia because it did not sue in court for approval.  At a minimum, Florida will probably be burdened with more information requests, a range of questions which could otherwise only be obtained in discovery, and general hostility toward the Florida plan. 

I and others will be writing more shortly about the particular advantages that Virginia enjoyed by submitting their plan to district court, and the limits of bad behavior DOJ endured because the court supervised the issue, not bureaucrats.

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