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Craig Newmark

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Some Big News Around Voting With Voto Latino

Posted: 06/07/2012 1:26 pm

Hey, folks I think there's been some big news recently, both regarding Voto Latino and Florida, specifically.

A good friend of mine, Maria Teresa Kumar, Co-Founder and President of Voto Latino, and actress America Ferrera began a new media, grassroots campaign called America4America. The campaign's main message, "Don't Let Anyone Scare You" is geared toward Latino Voters. The campaign is doing good stuff, educating young folks about issues like voter ID laws and immigration.

 

Some people seem to think that voter profiling only hurts groups that are usually targeted by the bad guy's (anti-voter) rules. America4America.com will have info and tools working to mobilize Latino voters. It's also part of some work to unite good orgs like Voto Latino, the League of Women Voters (LWV), the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Election Protection Coalition (EPC), the union-affiliated Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and others that plan to work on voter protection. These folks are just trying to defend Americans and Founding Father values; it's basic patriotism.

America4America says that.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has a plan to purge up to 180,000 voters from the rolls. One voter, 91-year old World War II vet Bill Internicola, is a victim of the effort. If we don't take action now, he won't be the last.

Other bad stuff is happening in Florida, like what's happening with voter disenfranchisement across the country, but there's some good stuff, too:

Last week, in a case brought by the Brennan Center, a federal judge blocked key provisions of a Florida law regulating groups doing good work, like organizing voter-registration drives. This wasn't just a victory for Florida, folks, but for voter protection groups across the country.

The law, before it was blocked, forced groups like the League of Women Voters of Florida to shut down their drives to register voters. The decision to block key provisions of this law marks the first time a federal court has blocked one of these restrictive voting laws that's been passed by 18 states since last year. These new laws have hit a wall of judicial and public opposition.

This week, LWV and Rock the Vote announced that they'll resume voter registration in Florida.

Other states need to start following suit. What I learned in high school civics class is that an attack on voting rights is virtually the same as an attack on the country. We need to work together to protect our voting rights and our country.

 

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