FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
DEMOCRATIC HD 49 CANDIDATE JOE SAUNDERS CALLS DEFENSE OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS A WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY
Orlando, FL –
Yesterday, a Federal judge in Tallahassee permanently threw out provisions of a 2011 omnibus election reform bill which implemented several new restrictions on voter registration groups statewide. The decision came after Judge Robert L. Hinkel called the restrictions “harsh and impractical” in May. As a result of this unconstitutional attempt at voter suppression which has already had a disproportionate effect on young voters and minority voters, new Democratic voter registration in the state has already dropped by a staggering 248,529 voters when compared with the same 13 month period beginning July 1 the year before the 2008 Presidential election based on a recent Jacksonville Times Union Analysis
. Joe Saunders offered the following statement:
“The decision to strike down these unnecessary new restrictions on voter registration is the right one and, while coming alarmingly late, may be in time to fix some of the damage done with young voters and black and Hispanic voters in East Orange County. The 2011 voter suppression laws are the perfect example of Republican extremism that has dominated our policy for the last fifteen years. The right to vote should not be hinged upon who you are likely to vote for.
“It’s equally shameful that Governor Rick Scott and the Republican legislature continue to pass unconstitutional laws that we then have to use taxpayer money to defend in court. In the past year, the legislature has spent almost $1 million defending extreme and unconstitutional laws such as prison privatization, voter suppression, and the warrant less drug testing of state employees. These costs came in the same year that Governor Scott vetoed $1 million from the UCF Small Business Incubator, one of the most innovative public/private partnerships in Central Florida and a statewide model for job creation. We can’t afford Republican extremism anymore. We need leaders who will focus on creating good jobs, funding our schools and ensuring everyone’s got a fair shot at success if they work hard.”