Progress Florida has submitted a petition signed by 11,289 Floridians in opposition to HB 1355 – the “Voter Suppression Act of 2011.” The petition was made part of the official record of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Florida’s elections law to be held Friday in Tampa.
“The chilling effect that HB 1355 has already had on teachers helping eligible high school students register to vote is a prime example of the negative impact this law has had on the ability of specific demographic groups, including young people and minorities, to participate in the voting process,” said Progress Florida executive director Mark Ferrulo.
The petitions, directed to the leadership of the Florida Legislature, were collected in November 2011 when it first came to light that Florida teachers were being investigated and facing fines for non-compliance of arbitrary and onerous new “third party” voter registration requirements imposed by HB 1355.
A study released last fall by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University estimates that nationwide the new voter suppression laws, including Florida’s, could discourage more than 5 million eligible voters from casting ballots in 2012.
“Gov. Rick Scott’s refusal to testify at today’s hearing, as requested by Sen. Dick Durbin, Chairman of the Subcommittee, illustrates that Gov. Scott is complicit in Florida being regarded as the Voter Suppression Capital of America,” added Ferrulo.