Florida's last minute and selective enforcement of Florida's "No Match No Vote" law §97.053(6) F.S violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment. The law is only being applied to a certain class of voters - the newest voters - only those registering after Sept 8. The 10.7 million voters who registered before September 8 will not have to leap the arbitrary hurdles and barriers to voting. More than 7000 would-be voters have now been snared by Florida's decision to start enforcement of the controversial "no-match" voter ID law last month.
Florida is throwing up every barrier they can for the newly engaged voters. Unlike 45 other states, Florida won't let you clear up the matching problem ON election day, by simply showing your ID. Voter ID is required in order to vote, yet Florida won't let you use it to prove your identity on election day! Florida says you have to either miss work or make a special trip before the election, or get stuck with a crappy provisional ballot and clear up the problem AFTER the election.
A recent report by the Advancement Project outlines how states like Florida and Ohio had disenfranchised voters by over using provisional ballots, ballots which often don't count! Provisional ballots are not counted on election night, but for many, the election is considered over. Further, at least 30% of provisional ballots end up being rejected.
The problem - The "No Match No Vote" law orders that a registrant provide either a drivers license or the last four digits of their social security number, and then the Elections dept tries to match that against the DMV or the Social Security databases. Often as high as 20% fail to match using their social security number. 45 other states wisely either never adopted the "no match no vote" law, or abandoned it.
In his Oped Even the unverified can vote Florida SOS Kurt Browning misleads the public into thinking that enforcing Florida's "No Match No Vote" law will not disenfranchise any voters. Many through no fault of their own will fail to match.
Florida must do the right thing and allow voters who meet Florida's voter ID requirements to obtain a regular ballot regardless of whether they manage to match the governments' faulty databases.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
URGENT: Tell Gov. Crist to Let the People Vote!
The Florida Voters Coalition says - Stand up for democracy now. Tell the Governor and Secretary Browning to do the right thing immediately, and issue a directive that allows supervisors to let voters vote.Subject Line: Let the People Vote!
Just copy and paste the letter below into your own e-mail and address it to Governor Charlie Crist at charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com and Secretary of State Kurt Browning at email@example.com
Dear Governor Crist and Secretary Browning,
We understand you want to deter voter fraud and ensure uniformity in Florida's election code. So do we.
We trust that you want to allow all eligible voters an equal opportunity to cast their ballot. So do we.
We trust that you would not support Florida using a law that purports to deter voter fraud but really institutionalizes voter suppression. We believe that is what is happening with Florida's No Match No Vote law, §97.053(6) F.S.. We need you to be The People's Governor; The New Secretary In Town, as you've described yourselves, and step in on behalf of all eligible voters.
1. Suspend implementation of this law until after the November 4th general election. Your offices as well as county elections offices are much too busy to do a good job with this last-minute burden. Eligible voters are sure to be disenfranchised. Voter fraud is unlikely to be deterred.