Florida GOP is about to make it much harder for people to vote


Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is about to sign a bill that would all but end early voting on college campuses.

File this under the GOP's latest attempts to suppress voters.

Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is days away from signing a bill that would all but end early voting on college campuses in the Sunshine State — a move that would make it harder for college students, who largely back Democratic candidates, to vote.

The law includes a provision that would require a "sufficient" amount of accessible parking spots at early voting sites. Because college campuses often have large quantities of permitted parking spots and limited spots for non-permitted cars, voting sites on college campuses could be shuttered.

"This is not about parking," Patricia Brigham, the president of the League of Women Voters of Florida that has sued against a number of Republican-passed voting and gerrymandering laws in the state, told HuffPost. "Those students with cars, they can hop in their car and go to an early voting site off campus. This about those students living on campus, who don’t have a car and they want to vote early."

Republicans in states across the country have been working to make it harder for people to vote, mostly demographic groups that benefit Democrats.

For example, Tennessee voted to impose criminal penalties on groups that work to register people to vote by imposing stringent rules that would lead to either hefty fines or jail time if not followed correctly. A lawsuit against the new provisions is pending.

Texas weighed imposing criminal penalties on people who inaccurately filled out voter registration forms, including minute mistakes such as spelling their names incorrectly or writing down the wrong zip code. That bill never passed.

And Arizona's GOP-run legislature weighed a bill that would have purged 200,000 people from the state's permanent early voting list.

Not to mention, the Trump administration is seeking to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census that would lead to an undercount in largely Democratic areas and ultimately dilute and suppress Democrats' power.

All of these measures were cooked up after Democrats saw a surge of voters in 2018, sparked by outrage over Trump and Republican control in Washington, D.C.

Yet instead of moderating their policies or working to bring Democratic and independent voters to their side, Republicans are instead trying to silence those very voters with restrictive voting laws — essentially cheating in an effort to grip onto power.

The ham-handed attempt is as transparent as it is awful.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.