The Black Vote: FLA. Criticized for New Voter Registration Law

October 5, 2015

Advocacy groups predicted Wednesday that thousands of people, mostly the poor and minorities, will be denied the right to vote through no fault of their own under a new Florida voter registration law.

Secretary of State Kurt Browning, Florida's top election official, disputed those claims, contending recent changes in the law and procedures make it “much more voter-friendly.”

The state's “no-match, no-vote” law requires elections officials to verify applicants' driver license numbers or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers by using government data bases.

Voter rights advocates criticized Browning for beginning to enforce the law less than 30 days before the Oct. 6 registration deadline for the Nov. 4 election. They say that's too little time to get it fully working with local election officials.

“The secretary's decision will put thousands of real Florida citizens at risk due to bureaucratic typos that under the 'no-match, no-vote' law will prevent them from voting this November,” said Alvaro Fernandez of the Southwest Voter Education Project.