League of Women Voters plans to end voter registration, blast elections bill

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Saying that “the Legislature has declared war on voters,” the League of Women Voters announced Monday that it will suspend its voter registration efforts if Gov. Rick Scott signs a massive elections bill (HB 1355) approved by lawmakers, reports the News Service of Florida. The league was among a handful of groups that fiercely opposed the measure, which includes new regulations on third-part voter registration groups. Republican lawmakers say the bill was necessary to close loopholes in state law that could have opened the door to fraud. “While the League remains committed to empower an active and informed citizenry, we cannot and will not place our thousands of volunteers at risk, subjecting them to a process in which one late form could result in their facing financial and civil penalties,” President Deirdre Macnab said in a statement announcing the change. Macnab also said her organization “will begin to explore legal remedies,” but didn’t elaborate. Scott has not said whether he will sign the bill, which would also have to be cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act because of Florida’s history of racial discrimination.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.