Former Governor Charlie Crist, in a special oped column for the Tampa Bay Times writes:
“Much is being said about Florida’s controversial new voter registration laws, which make it more difficult for people to register and reduce the availability of early-voting opportunities. These new measures appear to be a step backward in protecting the right to vote for citizens of the Sunshine State.
Under the new laws, third-party groups who fail to file new registration forms with the supervisor of elections within 48 hours of collection face stiff fines. As a result, groups such as the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote have decided to suspend their registration drives in Florida for fear that compliance with the new laws is too difficult. These groups have a long history in Florida of getting the people involved in participating in the electoral process through registration drives.
Good government begins with the voter, and creating barriers to voter registration or access to the polls is contrary to our democratic ideals. The right to vote is sacred, and people have fought and died to protect it. I believe government should ensure the maximum number of people should be allowed to participate in the electoral process.”
Full column here.