People who have been convicted of certain felonies and non-citizens, even people who have permanent legal residency status, are no longer allowed to collect or handle voter registration applications after a package of election legislation favoured by Republicans was passed earlier this year. A provision of Governor Ron DeSantis’s broad elections law that would have imposed limits on voter registration efforts in the state of Florida has been temporarily suspended by a federal judge in the state of Florida.
In the first line of a scathing order for a preliminary injunction, United States District Judge Mark Walker refers to the law as “Florida’s latest assault on the right to vote.” The law in question would make it illegal for non-citizens to assist in the process of registering people to vote and would make it a felony for voting rights organisations that register voters to retain the personal information of voters they have registered.
“When state government power threatens to spread beyond constitutional bounds and reduce individual rights to ashes, the federal judiciary stands as a firewall,” he said in a 58-page opinion that was issued by the court. It is simply not possible for the Free State of Florida to go beyond the limitations imposed by the Constitution of the United States.
“There is no question that Florida has the authority to regulate elections, including the procedure for voter registration. Judge Walker noted in his order on July 3 that “here, however, the challenged provisions represent something Florida has battled with in recent years; namely, governing within the limitations provided by the United States Constitution. “Here, however, the challenged provisions exemplify something Florida has struggled with in recent years.