Monday, December 14, 2015

Voting in Florida - Bad and Good

Thanks to Republicans, Nearly a Quarter of Florida’s Black Citizens Can’t Vote. "No other state has a larger number of disenfranchised citizens than Florida, where more than 1.5 million people have lost the right to cast a ballot on Election Day, according to the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit prison reform group."

"Nationwide, nearly 6 million Americans are barred from voting due to felony convictions. Although most states restrict the voting rights of imprisoned felons, Iowa currently is the only one that joins Florida in imposing a lifelong disenfranchisement on ex-felons. Until three weeks ago, Kentucky also had such a ban, but on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving the state’s outgoing Democratic governor issued an executive order restoring the voting rights of 140,000 nonviolent ex-felons in the state. The incoming Republican governor has signaled that he may uphold the order."

Florida's Supreme Court has struck another blow against gerrymandering. "Five of the state Supreme Court's seven justices essentially told the legislature: If you can't agree on a proper map, we'll pick one for you. They approved a trial judge's ruling accepting the Florida House of Representatives' plan for 19 of Florida's 27 districts — but rejected its proposal for the other eight, which cover South Florida. For the remaining eight districts, the courts instead approved a map proposed by those groups that had sued — including the League of Women Voters and Common Cause."

As the majority put it in this week's ruling, they concluded that "Republican political operatives successfully infiltrated the redistricting process with the coordination and cooperation of the Legislature, resulting in a redistricting plan that was tainted with improper partisan intent."

No comments: