Continue Fight Against Voter Suppression
Published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on June 10, 2012.
On June 1, the U.S. Department of Justice and Florida State Association Supervisors of Elections halted Gov. Rick Scott's partisan purge of eligible voters.
This was a concerted collaborative effort led by the governor to suppress and confuse voters. It was not transparent and a clear violation of the law. I, along with many others in Florida, have fought long and hard for the right to vote. To have somebody come along as a 'Scotty Come Lately' and decide that he is going to suppress the rights of voters is absolutely insane.
While we have successfully put a stop to this attack, the war on voting is not over. The Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry has already announced that he intends to continue trying to strip Floridians of the right to vote under the guise of eliminating a widespread voter fraud problem that does not exist.
In 36 states, there are laws or executive actions in place that tip the scales in favor of Republicans in the upcoming election. These restricted measures will inevitably make it hard for minorities, the elderly, and young people to vote.
Never before have these voter suppression efforts been so blatant, widespread, and systematic. Republicans are attacking one of the most fundamental rights of our democracy: the right to vote. We cannot sit idly by and allow our voices to be silenced.
This coming elections will define the politics of the country for a generation. Now is the time to choose. Now is the time to stand up. Now is the time to be heard. We must make it known that we will not allow the clock to turn back on voting rights in this country.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves at the senior member of the House Rules Committee, ranking Democratic member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic chairman of the Florida Delegation.