Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Florida Sought To Disenfranchise College Students In 2012 Election, Lawmaker Admits


By Aviva Shen on Dec 18, 2012

Election Day in Florida became a nightmare due to several changes to election law, resulting in marathon lines and more provisional ballots. Now that the election is over, Florida Republicans are beginning to admit the mess was intended to suppress votes.

State Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-FL) and GOP chair of Alachua County, Stafford Jones, cooked up one of Florida’s many new laws specifically to keep college students from voting in the 2012 election. The vote-suppressing measures were inspired by the 2010 victory of Gainesville’s first openly gay mayor, Craig Lowe, which Republicans claim was stolen by Florida college students.

Baxley’s law prevented people from voting if they did not change their address a month before Election Day. Many of the people affected were college students or young people who were moving for a new job. Jones explained this vote suppression was intentional and accused liberals of bringing in students to swing the election:


Jones said he has no proof to support his claim, only recollections of liberal blog posts that people were moving to vote.


Beyond hijinks at the local level, the Florida GOP admitted soon after the election that the goal of these new laws was always to keep Democratic voters away from the polls. Their efforts at voter suppression succeeded; the number of provisional ballots jumped an average of 25 percent in each county from last year.

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