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Florida Challenging Voting Rights Act Provisions

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com/NSF) – The state of Florida is gearing up for a battle with the U.S. government over states having to get federal approval on voting rights changes in areas with a history of discrimination, according to the News Service of Florida.

Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning said the rule is outdated and unconstitutional in a court filing Tuesday.

“Subjecting Florida counties and other jurisdictions covered exclusively under the language minority provisions of the Voting Rights Act to preclearance is not a rational, congruent, or proportional means of enforcing the Fourteenth and/or Fifteenth Amendments and violates the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the U.S. Constitution,” Browning wrote, according to the NSF.

Ironically, Browning is currently seeking the required preclearance for a new Florida voting law before it can go into effect in five Florida counties. The new law changes certain requirements including early voting and change of address issues.

Currently, several U.S. state and the Florida counties of Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe all must get approval of new procedures under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, according to the NSF.

The ACLU was not pleased with the changes to the voting law originally and are not happy with Browning’s filing.

“Today they’ve essentially asked a court to allow them not to follow federal law,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “It’s an admission that they know that the federal courts are likely to find that the ‘Voter Suppression Act’ passed this year is a serious threat to the voting rights of Florida’s language and racial minorities.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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