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|November 27, 2012: Florida Democrats Urge U.S. Civil Rights Commission to Hold Hearing on State Election Law|
(Washington, DC) Today, Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), along with Representatives Corrine Brown (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Frederica Wilson sent the following letter to Martin R. Castro, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The letter requests that the Commission hold a hearing regarding H.B. 1355, which was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on May 19, 2011. (Please find attached and below a copy of the letter).
November 27, 2012
Mr. Martin R. Castro
Dear Mr. Castro:
We write to request that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hold a hearing regarding H.B. 1355, which was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on May 19, 2011. Recently, former Governor Charlie Crist, former Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer, as well as an anonymous group of Republican consultants alleged that the Republican-controlled Florida legislature passed H.B. 1355 in order to intentionally suppress Democratic turnout.
The law limited access to the polls for minorities, seniors, and college students. In particular, it reduced the number of early voting days and imposed new restrictive regulations on voter registration groups.
In light of these allegations, we are extremely concerned over the integrity of this law and the justification for its implementation. Therefore, we believe that a hearing must be held as soon as possible. As you know, trust in our democracy is what holds our country together. Voters must be able to trust that their elected officials are acting in their best interest.
We thank you for your time and consideration of our request and look forward to a prompt response.
Alcee L. Hastings
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Abigail Thernstrom, Vice-Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.