TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami.com) – Florida GOP Governor Rick Scott signed into law a massive overhaul of the state’s election system Thursday morning.
The law was passed on essentially party-line votes during the legislature’s regular session. It will cut down the amount of early voting hours; require voters who make address changes at the polls to cast provisional ballots that may not be counted.
The new law also changes the way Florida handles organizations that conduct voter registration drives in the state. In response, the League of Women Voters has decided to halt voter registration drives in the Sunshine State.
“Governor Scott takes Florida back in time today with his approval of cumbersome regulations that will make it harder for eligible Floridians to be engaged and active in their government,” said LWV president Deirdre Macnab.
Republicans called the bill necessary to help keep Florida’s election system up-to-date and cut down on voter fraud. But, Democrats countered that the bill was a way to discourage President Barack Obama’s base from returning to the polls.
But before the law can be fully implemented, the bill must pass muster with the U.S. Justice Department. Based on past problems with the Voting Rights Act, Florida must submit all laws impacting voting rights to the Justice Department before implementing them statewide.
Click here to read how the bill has already sparked a lawsuit surrounding the Miami-Dade County Mayoral special election.