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Fines Target Non Profit Groups

July 21st, 2008 by flanews

Groups hosting voter registration drives could soon become subject to stricter penalties for turning in applications late or not at all. As Whitney Ray tells us, non-profit groups could be hit with thousands of dollars in fines.

Hear it Here: Fines Target Non Profit Groups

Voter registration drives may be the most convenient way to sign up to vote, but they could also be risky. The Florida Secretary of State is drafting rules for stricter penalties and deadlines for groups that host registration drives.

We have had times in the past where some of these drives have turned in the applications after Election Day or have turned them in with bad information, said Jennifer Davis, a spokeswoman with the Secretary of State.

Floridas League of Women Voters is suing, calling the new rules unfair. League President Marilyn Wills says a thousand dollar penalty for late applications would discourage registration drives and keep some people from casting ballots.

There are some groups who are registered mostly through third party registration, like youre Hispanic voters and your black voters, said Wills.

The rules come at a time when record numbers of Floridians are signing up to cast ballots in this years presidential race.

Three hundred thousand people registered to vote already in Florida this year. About 200,000 of them registered Democrat. Some election supervisors say the new rules could kill the momentum.

To actually chill peoples first amendment right to register people to vote by threatening them with erroneous fines is really nothing more than a gambit to suppress voter registration in Florida, Ion Sancho, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections.

Florida is already below average when it comes to signing people up to vote. The new rules are expected to go into effect in August. Third party groups say theyre rushing to collect voter applications before the rules change. The deadline to sign up to vote in the August primary is July 28th

Posted in Elections, State News, Voting | 3 Comments »

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